Tuesday, November 1, 2011
After watching the trailer, you probably think you have already seen this film; and for good reason as it is written by Ted Griffin who also wrote the 2001 remake of "Ocean's Eleven" or other heist films like the 2003 remake of "the Italian Job". Anyone could have directed "Tower Heist", but instead we get Brett Ratner who is best known for the "Rush Hour" trilogy. With an ensemble cast that runs this deep there really isn't much direction needed.
"Tower Heist" is a comedy caper about working stiffs at a luxury Central Park condominium who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler (Alan Alda) who has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge - a heist to reclaim what he took from them. This all sounds familiar to those following the news the last decade with Bernie Madoff providing the Ponzi scheme. Unfortunately, the connection to reality ends there as the comedy requires very little thinking or believable recourse taken by the victims.
The plot is straightforward and formulaic. The plan is smoothly engineered with few consequences culminating with the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The heist crew consists of Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe and Casey Affleck. Ben Stiller avoids his normal over-the-top character. Eddie Murphy avoids the silicone and CGI characters he has been attached to recently. Matthew Broderick is regrettably forgettable. Michael Peña is the Puerto Rican Mahican providing the stupid humor. Casey Affleck is the overly cautious straight man. A shining light is the casting of Gabourey Sidibe, who is best known for her performance in "Precious" (2009). In this film, she steps away from the serious and into a very funny performance allowing for her personality to freely display itself. Alan Alda plays a perfect villain, hiding a stone cold personality behind that warm smile and an evil wink.
If you are looking for mindless goof-ball gags and some over the top visual antics with a familiar plot, then this film is for you. Perhaps a bucket of popcorn and 64 ounces of cola will satisfy those that go to this film with higher hopes. Keep your expectations level and you will walk away feeling like this was at least a 3 Quack film.
What is invisible and smells like worms?
(look below the trailer for the answer)