Tower Heist - Review
Review of the new comedy movie Tower Heist featuring Eddie Murphy , Ben Stiller and Alan Alda.
Tower Heist Review
In a year where our cinema screens have been filled with sequels, prequels, super heroes and romantic comedies it is a pleasant change to find a new film addressing a more relevant and timely issue – in this case the current economic situation and the greed and profligacy of certain individuals in the financial community .
Tower Heist opens with a view of what seems to be a Benjamin Franklin adorned 100 dollar bill – on closer inspection though we find that this is in fact the design of a roof top swimming pool used by the owner of New York City high rise tower Arthur Shaw ( Alan Alda ). We see Shaw dealing with his employees at the high rise in the opening scenes – engaging in a game of online Chess with his building manager Josh Kovacs ( Ben Stiller ) and reminding the rest of the staff about the exclusivity of his high rise building revealing his somewhat elitist attitude.
Shaw soon has a problem in the form of FBI Special Agent Claire Denham ( Tea Leoni ) who places him under house arrest in his penthouse apartment after he is indicted for a Ponzi type financial swindle where he has lost all his investor’s money .Unfortunately, one of his investment accounts is the staff pension fund of the high rise Tower which means that all the Tower employees no longer have a pension fund to rely upon. Cue initial disbelief and then anger as building manager Kovacs (Stiller) a loyal and diligent employee of Shaw wrestles with the fact that he asked Shaw to look after the Tower employees pension interests .
Kovacs then ascertains that Shaw has some money remaining and estimates that he must still have $20 million physically located in his penthouse at the top of the Tower – and so the cunning plan for the Tower Heist kicks off in earnest . Kovacs assembles a motley crew of individuals from the Tower – his brother-in-law Charlie the Concierge ( Casey Affleck ) , a former Wall St. Trader and Tower resident Mr Fitzhugh ( Matthew Broderick ) , a fired employee Enrique ( Michael Pena ) and a maid Odessa ( Gabourey Sidibe) to work on a plan to liberate Shaw’s $20 million from his apartment .
The group soon realise that they have no experience of planning a robbery so enlist the help of Kovac’s neighbour, small time crook Slide ( Eddie Murphy ) who is tasked with gelling the disparate bunch into a lean , mean robbing machine – this is clearly where the comedy element of the film comes in , it’s advertised as a comedy but perhaps a comedy drama is a more accurate description .
We then follow the adventures of the gang as they attempt to perform the Tower Heist . The film features some great cinematography as the “heist” takes place during the New York Thanksgiving parade and some great action shots especially the shots of a suspended “coolest car on earth “- Steve McQueen’s Ferrari !
There a some great performances in this film – Stiller plays Kovacs perfectly showing his initial vulnerability which soon turns into steely determination when faced with a wrong to be set right and Murphy as Slide being , well Eddie Murphy – loud, fast talking and funny but always basically ,good.
Alda also deserves credit for playing the villain Shaw as an elitist ,calculating snob - far removed from the Hawkeye that we all know and love and gives a plausible and solid performance.
So ,in summary this is a film that is worth watching – definitely not a laugh a minute comedy but a well constructed comedy drama with some great cinematography and a good musical score to support it .