I do not know what perfect storm of cinema scheduling made Tower Heist the most attractive movie option for me this weekend, but it was. So I saw it. It is OK. It was pleasant enough for most of the movie, funny in spots and decently acted. It felt like a baseball player hitting a ball hard and having a chance at a double or even a triple, but content to just stay on first.
If you don’t know the plot of the movie, it is the story of employees in Trump Tower (I mean “The Tower”) who are defrauded when their wealthiest resident is revealed to have run some sort of Madoff scheme that lost all their pension money. As a revenge scheme Ben Stiller leads Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena, Casey Affleck on an Oceans’ 4 quest to rob the resident (played by Alan Alda) of a suspected $20 million. They are aided by a black criminal, played by Eddie Murphy, in what will now be called “Pulling a Horrible Bosses,” in which white nerdy criminal wannabes employ a black guy to show them how to become felons correctly. This is obviously the reverse of pulling a Dangerous Minds/Blind Side/Machine Gun Preacher which is when one white person teaches or saves a large number of minorities (or a very large single minority) from self-destruction.
The movie never really reaches any terrible levels, but it is not that funny in the second half. It tries, and I cannot even say the attempts at humor fall flat, but they just aren’t that funny. Matthew Broderick was the most consistently funny to me, mainly because he is playing a nerurotic, nebbishy guy, which is probably the role he has gotten used to being married to Carrie Bradshaw/Dee Snyder/Sarah Jessica Parker. Murphy is funny at times, but seems to almost be in that Mike Myers level of his career where he is sometimes the funny guy he used to be and other times just channeling his now-annoying character from Shrek.
I paid $6.50 for the movie and I don’t regret it. Harmless movie, but not that great.
Final Grade – B/B-