I went to watch Tower Heist last night, and I gotta admit Eddie Murphy is what pushed me towards watching this movie opening weekend. I must say I was NOT disappointed by Eddie’s performance, and the movie overall. Tower Heist gives you exactly what you expect, a whole lot of laughs and plot holes. If you enjoy Brett Ratner’s work (specifically Rush Hour) then you will absolutely love what Tower Heist has to offer. The movie makes no mistake letting the viewer know that the heist itself is not what you should be focused on; it’s the hilarious crew that’s executing it.
Ben Stiller plays Josh Kovacs the manager at Trump Towers. A very organized man that his co-workers respect very much. Josh is a perfectionist, and all the guests that live in the Tower, know Josh as a guy who can get things done. “Where would I be without you Josh.” This quote uttered by the man that the entire film is built around. Stiller plays the role well, always a consistent actor who lets his words and expressions do the work.
Eddie Murphy plays Slide, the only true convict involved in the group committing this heist. Let me just say that the old Eddie Murphy is back! No more “Donkey” voice, no more Pluto Nash, just good old Eddie Murphy. Slide has lived in the same area as Josh for years. When Josh and the gang want payback, Josh quickly realizes who better than Slide to learn how to be a convict from? The best part about this role is that Eddie Murphy is strategically placed throughout the film. He is not the lead actor, and he is not a bombarded face on the screen. He is absolutely a scene stealer. Last night at the theater the biggest laughs in the sold out venue came when Eddie delivered them.
Matthew Broderick plays Mr. Fitzhugh. This is an excellent role played by Broderick, who we all remember as the crafty Ferris Bueller character. Mr. Fitzhugh knows everything about the apartment layouts of the Tower, because before being evicted he was a tenant at the Tower for years. He is a very smart man who can calculate things in seconds, yet is the last guy you could ever imagine stealing anything. A clean cut human being who is so innocent throughout the film, it’s comedic gold.
Casey Affleck plays Charlie a straight rambler, and guy who is on edge because his wife is very close to giving birth. Charlie also works in the Tower, and has an issue with confidence. Charlie is always the one saying things like “come on let’s go,” or “Come on Josh don’t do it.” He isn’t exactly the prototypical robber who can handle a hostile situation. Affleck is a very talented actor, and many of you may remember him in Oceans 11,12,and 13 as one of the crew members. Tower Heist adopts a similar premise, but without the slickness the Ocean’s series delivers.
Gabourey Sidibe who plays Odessa a Jamaican maid, quickly becomes an integral part to the heist. Odessa is a tough, confident Jamaican who won’t take no for an answer. Sidibe who received massive praise for her role in Precious, once again proves she does possess talent for the big screen. She delivers some of the funniest lines, and is used quite well by director Brett Ratner.
Tea Leoni plays Special Agent Claire Denham. After watching Leoni hold her own with Jim Carrey in Fun With Dick and Jane, it became very clear that she could definitely do more comedy. She holds her own once again in Tower Heist among a cast with laughs throughout the film. One specific scene when Denham finds herself getting drunk with Josh is truly excellent acting by Leoni. Her role is nothing new, but she handles her business in Tower Heist.
Michael Pena plays Enrique Dev’Reaux. After Eddie Murphy the biggest laughs in the theater were courtesy of Pena. This guy is slowly becoming one of my favorites, he can do drama and comedy with ease. Every single line he utters will bring a smile to your face. Enrique is dumb as rocks, but he adds so much to the group, that Tower Heist would not be the same without him. Very talented actor, who has no end in sight as far as potential goes.
Alan Alda plays Arthur Shaw the swindler who has no heart for anyone but himself. Yes this is the Bernie Madoff based character that Alda plays. The entire heist as you can imagine is based around this man who cheated every employee who worked with Josh at the Tower. For a guy who knows what he did was wrong, Shaw shows no compassion whatsoever the entire film. Alda always delivers a solid performance, and this is no exception. He is the perfect swindler!
So as you can tell Tower Heist’s strengths lie in the cast. The story itself is filled with more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese, but the characters and jokes make this one worth watching if you looking for some laughs. It’s hardly a complicated plot, but it will have you smiling as you walk out the theater. It will also have you buzzing over Eddie Murphy’s return, and his Oscar duties coming up in a couple of months.
My 1-10 scale= 7