Quick Review – Tower Heist

Posted in Uncategorized by - November 09, 2011

I am a child of the 80s, and that means I can remember when Eddie Murphy was the funniest man alive. I can remember when he was a teenager on SNL, when he was Axel Foley on the big screen. I knew kids who had his stand-up films memorized. I also remember when Eddie took a long vacation from funny. The vacation was so long I don’t think we expected him back. The main reason I bought a ticket to ‘Tower Heist’ was to see if funny Eddie was back.

He is, more or less. He might be rehashing his own work a bit, and he probably could have yelled a little less, but there were a lot of moments where the Eddie we remember shines through.

That said, the movie is kind of a mess. The script has clearly passed through a lot of hands. Much like ‘The Other Guys’, it’s a lowbrow comedy that wants to make a middlebrow social point. That kind of thing is tough to pull off. Preaching isn’t funny, and it takes a light touch to keep the laughs rolling and leave you with something to think about on the way home.

‘Tower Heist’ is directed by Brett Ratner. So much for light touch. The film is full of lazy expository dialog and there are very few characters that are anything more than crudely drawn stereotypes. The plot is essentially a contrivance delivery device: a Bernie Madoff type has bilked everyone he knows, including all the employees at the Trumpesque tower where he lives. The employees band together to return the favor and rip off the mogul.

There are some action sequences that are pretty exciting, and the cast is several notches better than this movie requires. I think I could have liked it if it wasn’t so aggressively implausible. The entire film takes place in some sort of parallel universe where gravity is selective and the NYPD won’t shoot you for driving through the Macy’s Parade. There are moments, but it’s mostly a dunderheaded attempt to spread the word that being a greedy thief isn’t cool, and smug douchebaggery goeth before a fall. You already know that stuff, and you don’t need Brett Ratner to point it out for you.

It’s definitely going to be on planes soon. I’d wait and watch it there.

This post was written by MisterDee

Leave Your Comment