TOWER HEIST (director: Brett Ratner; screenwriters: Ted Griffin/Jeff Nathanson/based on a story by Ted. Griffin, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage; cinematographer: Dante Spinotti; editor: Mark Helfrich; music: Christophe Beck; cast: (Josh Kovaks), Eddie Murphy (Slide), (Charlie Gibbs), (Arthur Shaw), (Mr. Fitzhugh), (Special Agent Claire Denham), Judd Hirsch (Mr. Simon), Michael Peña (Dev’Reaux), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Lester), (Odessa), Juan Carlos Hernández(Manual), Marcia Jean Kurtz(Rose), Nina Arianda (Miss Iovenko, lawyer); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: /Kim Roth/; Universal Pictures; 2011)
“Time killer passable entertainment.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Time killer passable entertainment that benefits greatly from a crowd-pleasing timely plotline and a terrific Alan Alda as the villainous sleazebag crooked Wall Street financier. Mediocre director Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour 3″/” X-Men: The Last Stand”/”After the Sunset”)pulls off this fluff comedy by playing it safein a compromising agreeable way with mild comic bits on class differences and plenty of physical comedy during the caper, but never shooting for the kind of anarchy and subversive excitement this pic deserved if it wanted to be thought of as art.But it should provide mild laughter for the undemanding viewer, or the middle-class workers still reeling from the financial market collapse and from perhaps those victimized or in sympathy with the vics of ruthless Ponzi schemers like the heartless Bernard Madoff.It’s based on a story by Ted. Griffin, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, and is written by Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson.
The caper comedy is set in the luxury condo building named The Tower, that overlooks New York’s Central Park. Oily billionaire investment maven Arthur Shaw (Josh Kovaks
Claire Denham () and learns from the sympathetic arresting officer that there’s no chance of the little guys getting back the money they lost as the banks, the big boys and the corporations come first in the collection process. With that Josh uses the info that the FBI believes the crook is hiding some $20 million in his apartment and teams up with a few of the hotel staff — locksmith housekeeper (, the eager-beaver newly hired elevator operator (Michael Peña), the nervous inept concierge Stephen McKinley Hendersonthe unemployed honest timid Wall Street trader and evicted tower tenant (and a trash-talking black professional thief to coach these amateurs (Eddie Murphy)– to rob Shaw’s hidden stash during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when they get Shaw out of the pad on a pretext.
There was no way to take any of this seriously and the last half of the film could have been better executed, or at least better thought out, but there are laughs along the way and as escapism entertainment for the masses it passes muster.
REVIEWED ON 11/6/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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