By Rachel Ogbu
Production year: 2011
Cert (UK): 12A
Runtime: 104 mins
Directors: Andrew Niccol, Brett Ratner
Cast: Alan Alda, Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena, Tea Leoni
It’s being a while since we saw Eddie Murphy in action on the big screen, there was the Shrek sequel last year where he played the voice of “Donkey” but the last real movie Murphy impressed viewers as himself was in 2006 on “Dreamgirls”. So one can imagine the expectations fans had built up when they heard “Tower Heist” was coming out November 4.
“Tower Heist” is a movie starring Ben Stiller as Josh Kovacs who is the building manager of a posh apartment building for the rich. In the building is a very wealthy man called Arthur Shaw (Alda), whom all the staff regard highly but is exposed to be a running a Ponzi scheme and stealing their pension funds. One of the oldest staff, the door man learning that he’s lost his pension plus his life saving after entrusting Shaw with it to invest tries to commit suicide. Shaw show little sympathy so Kovacs decides to pull a heist to get back all the money that has been taken from the staff.
To do this, he needed an experienced criminal to help him execute the move he had planned with three other aggrieved staff members. This is where Eddie Murphy finally comes in. Eddie, who plays a trifling thief, is barely in the first half of the film. His character is quite shallow with the occasional funny punch lines that send short giggles across the theatre. The rest of the cast were not so much fun, they were a bit one dimension and more like drama series characters.
The plot then explores some twists and turns which restores hope for the viewer and the Robin Hood idea of ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor’ seems to conclude the story with an unlikely chess metaphor of ‘sacrificing the queen.’
Look out for Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe, the star of “Precious”, who joins the gang for the escapade for some entertaining moments; also catch a glimpse of Kanye West and Joan Rivers from ENews Fashion Police show.
In conclusion, the movie is a feel good movie- you know the kind you see when you are waiting for the traffic to ease off on third mainland bridge.
*68% of viewers liked it on Rotten Tomatoes
*It is currently number 2 following Antonio Banderas’s “Puss in Boots” animation grossing about $25 million in income at the box office within 3 days of its release.