Sunday, November 13, 2011
Quick Review: Tower Heist
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.