Starring-Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy
Scott’s Review #160
Reviewed August 29, 2014
Tower Heist is a completely formulaic, by the numbers comedy with absolutely no surprises or, frankly, creativity. It tells the story of a luxury high rise apartment manager named Josh Kovacs, weakly played by Ben Stiller and set in New York City, whose favorite tenant, a businessman named Arthur Shaw, played by Alan Alda, is arrested for involvement in a Ponzi scheme. The entire staff’s pensions have been squandered, thanks to Josh entrusting Shaw with the funds, and he strives to return the money to the rightful owners via a team of staff and an ex-con, played by Eddie Murphy who team up and attempt to locate millions of dollars hidden in Shaw’s apartment.
If this film was a starring vehicle with Ben Stiller in mind, it was done horribly. He has been much funnier in There’s Something About Mary or Meet the Parents. Tower Heist has some similarities to the film Ocean’s Eleven- the score is recognizable and mirrors that film and the band of players are similar to that film and the look of it reminds me of Ocean’s Eleven. Murphy plays a silly, stereotypical role, there is no chemistry or anything interesting between the group striving to retain the $$, and no chemistry between Stiller and Tea Leoni, who plays an FBI agent with a phony Queens accent that I found laugh out loud bad. Nothing worked in this film as it was one tired gag after another and completely predictable. I will admit that the 2 minor positives in Tower Heist were Alan Alda- always great to see him in films, and the interesting choice of a luxurious high rise setting with cool, ritzy interiors taken from real buildings in NYC. Otherwise, this film is a complete dud.