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I will blow your face CLEAN OFF your face!
Tower Heist (DVD)
Member Name: paulie1975
Tower Heist (DVD)
Advantages: Funny, nice ensemble piece, good fun
Disadvantages: flimsy in parts, underuse of Murphy and other characters
Without meaning to be disrespectful to Eddie Murphy, seeing him playing anyone other than the Donkey in Shrek nowadays is more likely to make me not want to watch a film, after the spate of silly fat suit films and those with talking animals, he returns to a fast talking role as a career criminal in Tower Heist, a film I watched with utter apprehension that turned out to actually be pretty good fun.
Directed by Brent Ratner of the Rush Hour Series, this film stars Ben Stiller as Josh Kovacs, Manager of an incredibly exclusive New York appartment block, he treats all tenants with unbounded respect and manages all of their needs, however one day he discovers the depths of his trust of the tenants may have been misplaced. Following the arrest of Mr Shaw (Alan Alda, clearly enjoying himself), the owner of the buildings penthouse for banking embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, Josh has to tell all the buildings staff that he invested their pension funds into one of Mr Shaw's suggested funds, losing everything.
Following a confrontation with Mr Shaw who is under FBI house arrest in his apartment, Josh takes out his frustration on Mr Shaw's property and is sacked along with colleagues, Charlie (Casey Affleck) and Devreux (Michael Pena). Shaw mocks Josh and demeans him, forcing Josh to move from dedicated protector of the property to a man keen to rob Shaw to return funds to his disgruntled friends and former colleagues.
Thrown into the mix is a former banker who is evicted from the prestigious tower and has nothing to lose (Matthew Broderick), an FBI agent keen to nail Shaw and with a soft spot for Josh (Tea Leoni) and a career criminal who used to attend day care with Josh (Eddie Murphy). Will the gang be able to outwit both Shaw and the FBI to use their in depth knowledge of the secure tower to steal the monies or are they truly the losers Shaw portrays them to be?
I came to this film with preconceptions, I expected it to be awful and it really wasn't, the first quarter of the film shows Josh as an annally retentive perfectionist, willing to do anything to make the tenants lives complete, as his world falls down around him we learn more about his tough upbringing and his 'connections', the first quarter draws you into understanding why these guys might feel they could steal the money and what motivates them to do so, while the characters aren't fully rounded they are likeable and the comedy is well played, there are some fantastic one liners that had us laughing out loud and the action is implausible but good fun nonetheless.
Stiller is solid as the main actor, sparking well off Murphy and Affleck in particular he plays both good guy and slightly naughtier guy really well, without ever needing to be wacky or off the wall, he is funny and gives a good performance, I enjoyed Affleck's understated role as Josh's put upon Brother in Law, he does the job unfussily and enjoyably, Alan Alda is excellent as the corrupt banker, you really dislike him after a start which seems to show him as a lovely guy, and these feelings help motivate you to cheer on the gang. Eddie Murphy is funnier than he has been for many years, fast talking, throwing insults around, although he is underused and its never fully clear how he switches from complete arse to a guy willing to work as a team player, as he has no motivation other than money to be involved. I did find Matthew Broderick as the banker a bit sad, he is weary and a real sad-sack and memories of his fantastic teenage turn as Ferris Bueller seem long gone in this role as a smart banker with nothing else left to lose. Gabourey Sidibe of Precious fame comes out with many of the best one liners in the film as a safe cracking chambermaid, while Tea Leoni is hilarious in one scene where she gets very drunk.
Overall this is a typical Brent Ratner film, funny with decent quips and one liners, fast paced and with a plot that makes sense in bits and asks you to suspend belief at other times, it will leave you with a smile on your face.
I would suggest buying a used copy from Amazon for £2.73 and enjoying it with the family.
Summary: I will blow your face CLEAN OFF your face!