Review: Tower Heist (2011)

“Today I teach you how to pick a lock with a bobby pin! Here’s your bobby pin, here’s your bobby pin, and here’s your punk-ass bobby pin! You unlock the door, or you gonna freeze to death! I’m gonna be inside having sex with Rita!”

Tower Heist is a crime-comedy film starring Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents), Eddie Murphy (Coming to America), Casey Affleck (Ocean’s Eleven), Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Téa Leoni (Ghost Town), Alan Alda (The Aviator), Michael Peña (30 Minutes or Less), Judd Hirsch (Independence Day) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious). The film is directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour series and X-Men: The Last Stand).

Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the workers at a luxury Central Park condominium discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them.

A quiet week for film releases lately sees me watching Tower Heist, the latest film from Brett Ratner – making a film in a territory he seems better suited to. Now, I actually was kinda intrigued by this film – not because it has some complicated plot but for the fact of who was starring.  Apart from Ben Stiller it had Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and Eddie-flipping-Murphy! Only one thing, Eddie Murphy isn’t shit in this! I know right? Hard to believe that he’s actually managed to get back into a decent movie.

Let’s get stuck in then shall we? Like I said it’s not a complex story line, essentially its a heist film set in a hotel tower – sounds like the name of the film right? To be fair to it though it’s an effective film for what it is.

Ben Stiller playing his usual comic-serious-blue steel self offers no real surprises. Basically the acting glue is this model of a film. Eddie Murphy however simply stole the film. I know he hasn’t had a good film in like 10 years but this brings him back to his mid 80s films which is why we fell in love in the first place. But yeah, Murphy is his quick jabber talking self with hilarious consequences.

Two of the main surprises though for me were Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck which, to be fair, haven’t done an awful lot and I’m guessing this was just some work to get there names back out there. But give them there dues they did well. Was fun to see Broderick again in a comedy role at least.

Tower Heist is certainly not as funny as it appears or how it wants to be but it’s a very easy and amusing watch. There are patchy parts throughout where the pacing seems way off but I enjoyed it more than expected. Eddie Murphy was great and I hope he starts to do more ‘raw’ comedy style films that put him on the map in the 80s


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