A caper comedy with an all-star cast… how could I resist a sneak preview of that?! When I saw the trailers a few months ago, I figured Tower Heist would be something worth renting, but not necessarily worth a full movie-theatre ticket price. Having seen it now, I’m glad I got the big screen effect and full audience environment. I always find a packed theatre of people who are into the movie helps to create a more entertaining and engaging experience.
Eddie Murphy has undoubtedly had some stinkers in the past decade or so (Shrek and Dreamgirls notwithstanding), so it was refreshing to see him in a great ensemble cast, playing off Ben Stiller. Both funny men got to stick to their typical-self characters, which I actually thought balanced nicely off each other. I’ve never been a huge Ben Stiller fan, but he does make me laugh from time to time and I guess i can’t ask for more than that.
Casey Affleck, on the other hand – I have never been a huge fan of, but even his presence in Tower Heist couldn’t dampen my enjoyment of it. It was just a great mix of characters from every angle. I absolutely loved seeing Gabourey Sidibe of Precious fame trying her hand at a comedic role (and rocking it, in my opinion). I would love to see her get some more roles in feature films.
One of my favourite things about Tower Heist was not necessarily that Matthew Broderick was in it, but that he was in another movie with a classic red Ferrari in it. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic for Ferris Beuller’s Day Off when Alan Alda’s character in Tower Heist was showing off his car-baby in the middle of his pent-house suite. It was such a throwback in my mind to Cam’s Dad’s garage with the floor-to-ceiling windows behind the luxury cherry-red car, that all I could do was picture someone kicking the front spoiler and watching it speed through the glass wall.
Overall, there were a good number of good laughs in Tower Heist thanks to some great one liners. “A gauntlet of lesbians” sticks out in my mind as one of the moments when my giggling went up a notch. I love a good heist, and I love a good character comedy. This movie had both, although I will warn you that certain aspects of the plot require you to seriously suspend logic and reason in order to play along with it. Leave your “yah right, that could happen” sarcasm at the ticket booth or you will not enjoy the latter parts of the movie. That being said, it’s pretty family friendly and I appreciate a comedy which doesn’t rely exclusively on sex or potty jokes. Tower Heist has a little intelligence, and a lot of heart. A timely release for the current economic state.
Bottom line: great cast, smart enough script, and topically appropriate for the mood of North Americans in general these days. I’d say it’s worth a gander, especially if you’re a Ben Stiller fan, or if you can gather up a big group of friends to go so that you can feed off each others’ energy while watching it. I’d probably go see it again if you need an extra friend in your group.