Just because it’s been done, doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining.
Tower Heist offers up fun and formulaic on-screen action. The movie supplies plenty
of laughs and crazy stunts, yet falls short on creativity.
Ben Stiller heads the star-studded cast as Josh Kovacks, the manager of ritzy
New York apartment building “The Tower.” When Kovacks discovers that Tower
resident Arthur Shaw (the delightfully slimy Alan Alda) has embezzled the building
staff’s money in an elaborate financial scam, he decides to exact revenge. In order
to accomplish this task, he assembles the requisite ragtag team of misfits to do
the impossible: break into Shaw’s penthouse apartment and take back the stolen
money. Along the disgustingly predictable way, Kovacks and his crew engage in all
sorts of action-packed shenanigans.
While Tower Heist is far from original, the movie’s cast still manages to make it
enjoyable. As Kovacks, Stiller comes across as an affable and convincing team leader,
though his performance is largely unremarkable. The supporting cast members are
what really drive Tower Heist forward and make the launch of Kovacks’ scheme so
pleasurable to watch. You can’t help but be charmed by Casey Affleck as endearing
hotel concierge and reluctant robbery–participant Charlie. His generally befuddled
and sweet nature balances the rough–around–the–edges crime accomplice and
former felon Slide (Eddie Murphy). Murphy cracks some of the film’s funniest jokes
— many of which are taken at Kovacks’ expense. Rounding out the motley crew of
revenge-seeking robbers are Matthew Broderick as disheveled building resident Mr.
Fitzhugh (he’s not Ferris Bueller anymore?) and Michael Pena as foolish-yet-eager-
to-please elevator mechanic Dev’Reaux.
As a film, Tower Heist stays firmly within the confines of the action genre.
Nothing new here, folks. Naturally, the film keeps focused on the action. While
visually appealing and sometimes even surprising, the stunts are more silly than
suspenseful. Similarly, the script merely does its job — nothing
more, nothing less. Sure, some laugh-out-loud jokes are thrown in. Nevertheless,
the lines are often cliche, and for the most part, the character development lacks
Despite its shortcomings, Tower Heist makes for a fun night at the movies. If you’re a
fan of action flicks, Tower Heist may be just what you’re looking to see.
Directed By: Brett Ratner
Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Casey Affleck
Rated PG-13, 104 min.
See if you liked: I Spy (2002)