If you’re a fan of Rush Hour, Eddie Murphy and/or Ben Stiller, you are probably going to adore Tower Heist, the new crime comedy film directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand) and written by Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven) with Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can).
Ben Stiller stars as Josh Kovacs, the building manager of a high-end apartment hotel (The Tower) in New York. When Josh discovers that his smug Wall Street tycoon boss Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is charged with stealing billions from his investors (many of which include the hardworking tower staff), he comes up with a plan to steal their money back.
He then rallies a team of disgruntled hotel workers to break into Shaw’s suite to get their money back and install some justice. Since the hotel workers have no criminal smarts to carry out a heist, Josh enlists Slide (Eddie Murphy), an often-arrested neighbor, to guide the team in the art of burglary.
Stiller is solid and hits just the right tone as the righteously indignant anchor at the centre of this increasing mayhem. We’ve always loved Ben Stiller for his quick wit and animated facial expressions. His agitated ways and sarcasm are simply priceless.
Homeboy Eddie Murphy is back after more than a decade. This time, he plays a rude, motor-mouthed conman named “Slide”.
When he unleashes that huge, familiar and gap-toothed smile, you can’t help but smile back. Only with his introduction did the film’s energy and amusement level kick up a few notches. His character is a throwback to his pre-family movie days and yes, he still has it in him!
Welcome back Murphy. We missed you.
Murphy and Stiller make up a super entertaining action-comedy team; the perfect odd couple with whom comedy trails, poaching every scene they’re in together thanks to Murphy’s ghetto-talking and Stiller’s mighty comebacks.
Considering that it’s a first-time collaboration between Stiller and Murphy, we’re pleased with how well they gelled together. Their chemistry is great, but not overpowering.
We hope that this is the first of many more collaborations between these two hilarious creatures. Homies for life?
The remaining characters are naturally golden too. They include:
Casey Affleck as Charlie Gibbs (the building concierge and Josh’s brother-in-law), Inspector Gadget a.k.a Matthew Broderick as Mr. Fitzhugh (former Wall Street banker made bankrupt), Micheal Pena as Enrique Dev’reaux (the new elevator guy), Stephen Henderson as Lester (the sweet doorman) and last but not least Precious starlet Gabourey Sidibe as Odessa Montero (a Jamaican-born maid who is also a badass safecracker).
As with most heist movies, be it Ocean’s Eleven or The Italian Job, we find ourselves rooting for the thieves. The cast for Tower Heist is absolutely hilarious and spot on, each member contributing greatly to the film’s concept.
Tea “Husky voice” Leoni (Jurassic Park III, Deep Impact, Bad Boys) plays Claire Denham, a blunt and unorthodox federal agent who’s eager to put Arthur the antagonist behind bars.
She has a great scene in which her character gets drunk with Stiller’s, causing her to be a little too forthcoming. It’s a great reminder of what a natural talent she is, which makes us want to see more of her.
Tower Heist is well-casted, snappy and street-smart. Although the heist itself seems completely ridiculous, the story’s thirst for justice is wonderful. It’s a modern-day Robin Hood with doses of vertigo-inducing stunts and pure, hilarious fun.
Who knew a heist film could turn out to be so funny, thrilling and smart? This film is Highly Recommended, we say. Kudos to director Brett Ratner for turning an absurd storyline into something quite heartwarming, all the while keeping it grounded to reality by masterfully playing to the actors’ strengths. What the movie lacks in explanation, it makes up for in laughs.
Overall, a feelgood movie that doesn’t try too hard. It lacks the sleek air of Ocean’s Eleven but touches just enough on social situations with comedy aplenty.
Check out the official soundtrack below!
Chella and mr&mrsravenous, signing off!