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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quick Review: Tower Heist

I'm trying to get to movies more often again. With my work schedule and commute, weeknights are difficult. And with my trying to catch up on sleep on the weekends, I'm not getting to the before-noon $5.00 matinees. So for the three movies I've seen in the last week or so, I've gone on a Sunday afternoon ($7.50), Wednesday night ($6.50, because the Ritz theaters in Old City have bargain shows all day on Wednesdays), and Saturday evening ($13.00, in part because I couldn't avoid 3D). Anyway, we'll see how it goes. More movies I really want to see are either already out or will be out soon. Others I'm only sort of interested in, and those are kind of falling by the wayside.

Anyhoo, first up was "Tower Heist." A Bernie Madoff-substitute, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), is arrested and charged in a Ponzi scheme. He's under house arrest, but his house is a super-expensive apartment in The Tower (with Donald Trump's property standing in). Josh (Ben Stiller), the building's manager, and other employees gave Shaw their savings to invest. Needless to say, their savings are gone. Josh puts together a team to break into Shaw's apartment and find his "safety net" -- the stash of cash that these Madoff types keep for themselves in case of emergency. But these people aren't criminals, so Josh enlists the help of an actual criminal, Slide (Eddie Murphy), who, as it turns out, was a playmate of Josh's when they were both in daycare. Yeah. Naturally, there are many implausible occurrences. Slide may be a criminal but he seems more like an average lowlife than someone who could mastermind a multimillion-dollar heist. And the maid just happens to have a talent for safecracking? Really? But this isn't a documentary, it's an "Ocean's 11"-style caper. There are some laughs to be had (such as when the aforementioned maid, played by Gabourey Sidibe, flirts with Murphy's character), but more often than not it falls a bit flat. My grade: B-minus.

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Made me laugh and held my interest more than it should have, given how sloppy it is. Call it an acceptable bit of B-minus work from a C student. Good review. Eddie really had me laughing here but he wasn't the only one.