MADOFF ROBBED OF RICHESS BY THE PEOPLE HE STOLE FROM! That would be a welcomed fate back in 2008 when all the news of Bernie Madoff’s schemes came crumbling down and all those people saw their savings disappear. Something like that would have been paraded in the streets. Tower Heist is basically a take on that idea, what if some of those people stole some secret leftover stash from crook like Madoff wouldn’t that be FUNNY?

Tower Heist is about a guy named Josh Kovacs, a building manager of upscale midtown Manhattan apartment building. He is always the hardworking guy who notices every detail of the tenants of his building who rely on him and his staff daily.

After it’s found out that Arthur Shaw, the penthouse tenant is arrested for stealing $2 billion which happens to include the staff’s pensions Kovacs hatches a plan to steal it back from him.

This movie is pretty much a standard Brett Ratner comedy. Not much in new or inventive in the directing or the script but has moments of pure absurdity and no plausibility. Ben Stiller’s Josh Kovacs really just feels like his character from the Meet the Parents franchise or Night at the Museum franchise. He’s decent enough to follow through the movie but it’s hard at times to buy his epiphany early on in the movie.

Some of the real fun is to Eddie Murphy curse again. It’s been so long to see him do a character like this and not be in makeup or anything is a bit of delight. The character Slide he portrays in the film at times seems like a non-threatening version of the types of characters his brother Charlie usually plays on screen. Even still though they really force a reason for Stiller’s Kovacs and Murphy’s Slide to really need to interact or do anything together.

Casey Affleck is actually the other main funny character in the movie. At certain points in the film he seems to be speaking for the audience as he question’s Kovacs’ decision making process. Alan Alda plays Arthur Shaw pretty well as the smug, to good for everyone type of character you’re supposed to hate. Even though he was always interesting to watch on screen he really didn’t have much depth. Not much to hook you to almost make you like him to want him to win.

The rest of the cast doesn’t really have much to their characters. That’s what makes this movie not as good as say Ocean’s 11 is that in that film you learn at least a little bit of what makes each character tick. In this however you really don’t. It just feels like Stiller and Murphy needed people around them fill out the rest of the movie.

In the end Tower Heist is serviceable not great or something to run right out to see opening night. It might be great to watch on constant TNT reruns in the future though. At most I’d say wait for rental.

Final Grade is C-

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