Direction: Brett Ratner
Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy
A carefully crafted if clichéd caper comedy, Tower Heist strives to be a lot more than what it really is. It wants to be as breezy as the Ocean’s11 trilogy. What it delivers, though, is altogether a different matter.
To begin with, the script is just not that clever or exciting enough. An unscrupulous financier (Alan Alda) swindles the employees of a New York condominium of their pension funds.
Accompanied by a quartet of disgruntled staffers, the manager (Stiller) of the luxurious residencies decides to steal their money back.
They enlist the aid of a small-time crook (Murphy, as annoying as he is animated) but of course their best laid plans go astray.
Music-video-trained director Ratner (the two Rush Hour movies) has difficulty in fully realising the sentimental dramatics and the fun fades away long before the preposterous finale set during a Thanksgiving Day parade.
To be fair, the film does achieve a modicum of success thanks to the endearing supporting performances, particularly by Gabourey Sidibe (whom you may remember from Precious) as the resourceful maid. Also, the cinematography by Dante Spinotti is eye-caressing.
All said and endured, Tower Heist is worth a look, but just about.