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Tower Heist

A Comedy film directed by Brett Ratner

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Going up...going down; this Brett Ratner film will either entertain and humor you or piss you off.

  • Mar 10, 2012
** out of ****

I respect that Brett Ratner designed "Tower Heist" as a film made specifically for him and his few loyal fans; those who have enjoyed his various escapist films throughout the years. I'd be lying if I said I didn't admire a few of them; and it's with that reality (and thought) in mind that I watched his newest film. I don't know exactly what I expected; a piece of sheer cinematic entertainment. Bad for the brain-cells; but the kind of movie that's good for just about every movie-goer once in a while. It's a heist film, a crime-comedy, and I was so looking forward to having a good time watching the thing. Too bad it wasn't the sort of kick-ass blast of escapist comedy that I had been hoping for.

"Tower Heist" is silly, but sometimes in a fun and admirable way; it's constantly aware of its absurdity and down-right stupidity, and the fact that it can handle that alone prevents it from being a truly "bad" movie. There are things that I liked; but ultimately, it's a faulty product, and the bad outweighs the good. In the end, you've got a film that will probably appeal to a certain easy-going audience; so long as they don't expect much. Hell, not even I expect a whole lot from movies like this; so it's saying something when I found myself disappointed by the lack of lovable insanity in the film. Perhaps it was a little too tame for my tastes; I can appreciate comedy that isn't laced with F-bombs, but I feel as if a movie like this kind of needs those. Maybe that's just me being me.

The story takes place in an apartment complex located in New York City, known as The Tower. The building manager is Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), a competent and decent man. The owner of the building is the billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda). Some other workers include elevator operator Enrique (Michael Pena), concierge Charlie (Casey Affleck), doorman Lester (Stephen Henderson), and a Jamaican maid named Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe). Their business lives are simultaneously put in jeopardy when Mr. Shaw tries to flee the city in what initially appears to be a kidnapping; only to reveal that he was attempting to evade arrest for running what's called a Ponzi scheme. Everyone loses their pensions to the case. Now all they've got to do is go on home and get another job. It's sad, it's true; but it's how it's got to be.

Josh proposes that this will not stand. He knows that Mr. Shaw still has their money concealed behind some hidden safe located somewhere in his very own room; and he isn't afraid to try and get it back. To do so, he confronts a man from his past - convicted criminal Slide (Eddie Murphy) - and a friend in a current financial crisis (Matthew Broderick) - as well as Charlie, Enrique, and Odessa - to help him carry out the deed. The script skips the juicy plotting, because once the fine print has been looked over thoroughly by the characters (and not so-much the audience), it's time to get rolling. I just wish they could have incorporated such an energetic mentality earlier on in the film; because for a while there, I'll be honest, I was kind of bored. This is a heist movie that gets too long to get the actual heist; instead wasting our time with mediocre characters and half-cooked plotting. It's kind of pathetic; but at the same time, you could do so much worse.

There are a few exciting chase scenes, and some genuinely strong character moments, but let's cut to the chase: overall, I just didn't like this film all that much. In all honesty, it's just not well-made enough for me to enjoy. Yes, there are prolonged stretches that are engaging and fun; but then there are others that just go on and on and on...seemingly about nothing. Maybe this would be acceptable if the film took itself seriously; but no, it's a comedy. And sadly, it's one without a sufficient amount of wit or memorable jokes. There are, of course, some big laughs; but everything about the film fades from one's memory in an instant. It's never ingenious, or smart; mostly because it doesn't want to be either of those things. On the bright side, it at least looks as if everyone on board had a pretty good time making the film; and that's important when participating in any production. But then again, so is balance; and that's something that the filmmakers behind this minor clunker don't have.

This is above all, merely my personal opinion. It's very much possible that a lot of the people who see "Tower Heist" will really enjoy watching it, and I can certainly respect that. But as much as I tried to detach myself from my critical eye for an hour and forty five minutes and just have a good time, this film couldn't exactly provide me with one. The only kind of heist film worth watching, in my opinion, is one that engages us in the characters and the act of robbery itself. Everything else is just filler; and believe me, this is one big filler. The best thing it does is bring back Eddie Murphy in a state that represents how we used to know him, back in the 80's, when he was funny. He really steals the show here, and if you've been a long-time fan of his work, you will find satisfaction in this tower, if only for certain periods of time. All I know is that I felt like I was going down while I should have really been going up, up, up.

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March 10, 2012
Ratner is such a hack. I cannot believe he is still around to making movies....
More Tower Heist reviews
review by . November 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I went to see Tower Heist on Friday.  What a major disappointment.   I am always a little concerned when comedies have great trailers, because usually all of the punch lines are in the trailer and there is not much left for your imagination when you go to see the movie.  Once again the trailer was much better than the movie.   To me the movie just went wrong on so many levels and wasted so much talent.  This movie could have been so much better.  Alan Alda must have …
review by . November 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist is a triumph of casting and performance over plot, which is admittedly far-fetched and rather ridiculous. It is, essentially, a cross between a crime caper and a revenge fantasy – and a timely one at that, given the recent Bernie Madoff scandal and the current Wall Street protests, which has left so many people in a state of unrest. Here is a movie intentionally designed to be a crowd pleaser; it’s not …
review by . November 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Tower Heist' 'Two Jews On Film' Almost Can't Find The Funny In This Comedy Caper (Video)
   By Joan Alperin Schwartz      All I can say is...thank the Movie Gods for Eddie Murphy because he single handedly put the funny in this  so-called comedy entitled, 'Tower Heist', directed by Brett Ratner.        So here's the story in a nut shell...      There's this super sleezy, super rich, Wall Street dude named, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) - No, this film isn't a fantasy.  Sleezy …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie



Director: Brett Ratner
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Release Date: November 4, 2011
Screen Writer: Ted Griffin, Jeff Nathanson
Runtime: 104 minutes
Studio: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Relativity Media
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