Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tower Heist (2011)

Synopsis: It’s basically an Oceans 11 rip-off, featuring Eddie Murphy as a warmed-over Reggie Hammond, Ben Stiller as Hudson from Upstairs Downstairs, and Matthew Broderick as…. actually, I have no idea why he’s in this movie. 
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “BEN STILLER and EDDIE MURPHY lead an all-star cast in this hilarious comedy caper about a luxury condo manager (Stiller) who leads a staff of workers to seek payback on the Wall Street swindler (Alan Alda) who defrauded them.” 
What Did I Learn?: 1) “A robbery can change very quickly: you have to be ready to adapt to the situation at any moment. Anything can happen.” 2) Asthma doesn’t cause seizures. 3) “Lesbians got the nicest titties.” 
Really?: 1) So, what was the point of making Special Agent Denham (Tea Leoni) a hot chick and hinting at a romantic interest between her and Kovaks (Stiller)? Nothing happens between them! 2) Hold on, we’re led to believe that all big-lead fraud artists like Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) keep large sums of cash on hand in case they need to run, and his emergency stash is a solid gold Ferrari? How is he supposed to get that out of the building, let alone take it overseas? 3) So, FBI agents can really be fooled into thinking the courts are open on Thanksgiving? 4) Wait, Kovaks remembers Slide (Murphy) from childhood, but Slide doesn’t remember Kovacs at all, so they sort of meet for the first time, yet Kovaks trusts him enough to bring him into the plot? Gee, that's convenient. 5) Why in the world would Kovaks bring Mr. Fitzhugh (Broderick) into his scheme when he no longer lives in the building, and he’s pretty much useless? (See “Synopsis”)
Rating: I expected a lot more from Tower Heist when I sat down to watch it last week. Tower Heist is far from awful, but I would describe it as contrived, lacklustre and unsure of the sort of film it wants to be (see: "Synopsis", "What Did I Learn?", and "Really?") While the actual heist is compelling and fun to watch, the story takes forever to develop, and we’re treated in the meantime to a few too many crude jokes and not-so-funny comedic setups for my taste. 6/10 stars

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