After seeing Tower Heist, mulling it over, and eventually sleeping on it, I can’t think of another movie that draws less enthusiasm out of me. Sure, I was entertained while it was onscreen (and there’s certainly something to be said for that), but so what? The whole thing smacks of middlebrow and the inoffensive. It takes Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s films and replaces all the slick coolness with a sheen of mildly amusing bumbling. And while there’s a large portion of the population who’ll find this just dandy, it really only manages to allow the film to scale the heights of adequacy. Ben Stiller plays Josh Kovacs, an efficient manager of an extremely high-end Manhattan tower that caters to the super-rich. After tower resident — and Wall Street bigwig — Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) gets busted for fraud, Josh realizes all tower employees, from the doormen to the cleaning ladies, have lost their pensions in Shaw’s apparent Ponzi scheme. Knowing no other way to fix things, Josh concocts a plan to burgle Shaw of the nest-egg hidden in his penthouse suite. For help, he brings in a ragtag group of normal guys, including his brother-in-law (Casey Affleck), a broke, unemployed investor (Matthew Broderick), and a neighborhood thief (a funnier than usual Eddie Murphy), and a series of misadventures ensue. Once we get past the set-up and into the actual heist, the film moves well enough. And it has to, since slowing down for even a moment would give the audience a chance to spot the plot’s myriad contrivances and holes. It’s all just good enough. No more.
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson
Producer: Brian Grazer, Eddie Murphy and Kim Roth
Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Alan Alda, Judd Hirsch and Gabourey Sidibe