Today: June 11, 2024

Tower Heist DVD

Ocean’s Eleven this isn’t but these crooks will bring a smile to your face.

Ocean’s Eleven this isn’t but these crooks will bring
a smile to your face.

Brett Ratner knows how to do fast talking comedy capers. Love them or hate them the Rush Hour
films proved that. Sure he might
also know how to balls up an Oscar ceremony by making ill-advised remarks, but
credit where it’s due the man knows how to do big brash action with loveable or
irritating characters. We’re
looking at you Chris Tucker. Okay, he also knows how to balls up a
Hannibal Lecter movie, an X-Men sequel and a weird Frank Capra knock-off in The Family Man (2000). Thankfully Tower Heist has fun action, laughs here and there and more than
anything a cast of actors not one of whom is anything other than fun to
watch. And no, before you ask
there is no Chris Tucker.

Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is the chairman of The
Tower, New York’s most plush apartment block. The building is fancy but the staff is what the rich
residents really pay for. That is
until Shaw, a banker by trade, yes we’re in topical boo-hiss villain territory,
steals all their pension money and is put under house arrest. Building manager Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) feels responsible and
rallies his troops for a spot of thievery to get their hard earned cash
back. Recruiting fellow staff
members Casey Affleck, Michael Pena and
former resident Matthew Broderick
the team hatch a plan, guided by professional thief Eddie Murphy to take revenge on Shaw.

At one point
Tower Heist was being produced by Eddie Murphy with an all black cast,
including Chris Tucker. His name
has been mentioned three times now so expect a Beatlejuice like appearance any
second. Having gone through
various incarnations, there are no less than five writers credited, the film
wound up with an almost all white cast and the scene stealing Murphy. The plot is often all over the shop and
the tone is hard to gage at times.
On the one hand there are genuinely funny moments, but at others it all
feels a little too topical and serious.
Somewhere through the countless drafts of the script someone hedged
their bets. It’s part Ocean’s Eleven (2001) part Dodgeball (2004). On paper that’s not a bad combination
but on screen it is slightly perplexing.

Thankfully the
cast is on resounding form and keep you more than entertained throughout. Ironically the biggest name on the cast
list, Stiller, is asked to do little more than be the straight man. Casey Affleck is always fun with his
panicked neurosis while Matthew Broderick brings an innocent charm to the
affair. Murphy is back to his Beverly Hills Cop (1984) best with
quick talking wise cracks.
However, it is Michael Pena who manages to get the most laughs. As the bumbling new elevator man he
presents the most charm to hang your heart on.

A little mixed up
in places but Tower Heist is perfect viewing for a few laughs and turn your
brain off kind of entertainment.
You never know there could even be a sequel in the works. Prison Heist anyone?

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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