Review: 7 out of 10
It’s hard to think of a more likable premise than a group of working stiffs getting revenge after being conned out of their pensions (maybe something about a cancer kid who gets super powers, but that’s really the best I can think of), and for the most part “Tower Heist” delivers on that promise.
Ben Stiller plays Josh Kovacs, the GM of The Tower hotel, a ritzy home to New York’s rich and powerful. He and the rest of its employees are surprised when business man Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is accused of fraud and saddened to find that Shaw, the man Josh put in charge of managing all their pensions, lost the money.
Kovacs seeks revenge and so puts together a team, which includes small time crook Slide (Eddie Murphy), to take back what is rightfully there’s. Tedd Griffin and Jeff Nathanson’s screenplay doesn’t get bogged down in the whole financial crisis. It’s fast and wild and has some really funny lines, some of the more notable ones about Bank of America, lesbians, and a character formerly known as “seizure boy.”
But this is also a fantastic comedy team, led by the constant every-man Stiller and manically riffing Murphy. Hotel staff played by a colorful cast that includes Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Pena, and Casey Affleck, plus Mathew Broderick as a laid-off Wall-Streeter pushed to desperate actions, complete this silly band of amateur criminals (a scene where Pena, Affleck, Stiller, and Broderick each practice stealing in a mall is fantastic).
And Alan Alda makes for a terrific villain, a smarmy fellow full of veiled insults. Not a second of the heist is plausible but director Brett Ratner and this hard working cast keep it funny and fun from beginning to end.