Review – Tower Heist

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has rocked the world over the past few years but filmmakers have struggled to capture the flow on effect it has had.  Lots of films have drawn inspiration from the GFC including the disappointing ‘Company Men’ and the documentary ‘Inside Job’ that was a mixed bag of facts and figures.  The average Joe verses corporate greed is something most people can relate to in tough economic times and that’s what director Brett Ratner is aiming for with ‘Tower Heist’.

Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is the manager of an apartment building in New York City that is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people including Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda).  The employees of ‘the tower’ slave over the residents 24 hours a day.  When Mr. Shaw is busted by the FBI for a few suspect investments the staff discover that they’ve been defrauded of their life savings and band together to get it back.

Sorry to sound like a broken record but ‘Tower Heist’ is a B-grade rip off of ‘Ocean’s 11’ and you’re going to hear that comparison a lot.  The major difference is that ‘Tower Heist’ puts more emphasis on the comedy due to its ensemble cast.  There are a few good laughs but it’s not consistent enough to differentiate itself from its better looking older brother that is the ‘Oceans’ franchise.

The cast is good with Stiller playing the straight guy again.  Stiller’s act is starting to get tiring and it would be great to see him indulge his comic talents a bit better.  Michael Pena, Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck get a few good lines and Alda is slimy as the corporate crook.  Outshining them all tough is Eddie Murphy who makes a slight return to form.  The big problem is that Murphy is missing in action for a lot of the film which is a real shame. 

Ratner delivers his usual mix of comedy and action but the film takes forever to properly get started and the heist itself isn’t worth the wait.  Towards the end it felt like watching somebody move house and there are enough plot holes to drive a truckload of unwanted copies of ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ through.

‘Tower Heist’ is worth checking out to see Murphy hit a bit of form but there not much else to get excited about. 


‘Tower Heist’ opens in Australia on 26 December 2011

The Popcorn Junkie