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- Director: Brett Ratner
- Release Date: Nov 2011
- Run Time: 99
- Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy
When I heard the movie was co-starring Eddie Murphy, my first reaction was this was going to be a fundamental flop. His movies in the past five years have all been mega-disasters, a result of his abysmally unfunny slapstick humor. However, much to my surprise, Tower Heist is actually entertaining, not the movie of the year but definitely worth watching. Eddie (for once) does not hog the limelight and actually does justice to his role.
Tower Heist is a story about getting revenge, albeit in a comical way. Arthur Shaw, played by Alan Alda, is a wealthy tycoon who lives in The Tower. Shaw is placed under house arrest and is accused of being responsible for a Ponzi scheme. All the employees of The Tower are affected when it turns out their pensions had been invested into this Ponzi scheme and as a result, they are left with nothing. The doorman even attempts to commit suicide once this bad news is delivered to him. Josh (the main character played by Ben Stiller) is the building manager of The Tower and decides to stand up for all the employees by confronting Shaw. In the process, he loses his temper and destroys the windows of Shaw’s new Ferrari. Irked by this, Shaw fires him as well as two other employees (the concierge and the bellhop) who were with him.
It is here that the idea for a revenge plan is borne. Josh comes into information that Shaw is hiding a loose 20 million dollars somewhere in his apartment and in true Robin-Hood style, decides to steal it and distribute it among all the employees who had lost their pension. Josh then puts together a team from the apartment residents to do this. They hire a crook, Slide (Eddie Murphy) to help them with the robbery. The plot then comically continues to reveal the ups and downs of planning and implementing a robbery, and the outcome of five amateurs on a mission to save their pension.
If you are expecting a deep, thought-provoking heist story with an unpredictable end, you will be in for a disappointment. Unlike other heist-based movies, Tower Heist does not have a complicated plot and the focus is not on the action but on the comical journey the employees go through in trying to steal Shaw’s money. This is a simple movie with enough humor to get a pass. Stiller and Murphy actually work quite well together, with no actor trying to steal each other’s thunder. It is a good recovery movie foe Eddie Murphy, who was starting to prove the theory that humor has an age limit.