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Top of the Tower
Tower Heist (DVD)
Member Name: SpiderJamb
Tower Heist (DVD)
Advantages: Smart and funny! More character-focused than you'd imagine
Disadvantages: Some elements of the ending are left unexplained
**FILM ONLY REVIEW**
Tower Heist is an unusual film, as I expected it to be a satire or spoof of Ocean's Eleven or other celebrity-laden heist movies, and to an extent it is influenced by those movies, but it never feels like a direct parody.
Ben Stiller, plays Josh Kovaks, a general manager at The Tower, a prestigious New York hotel/apartment complex that houses some of the highest rollers in town. He had a hard-working, if slightly quirky, crew that work alongside him in the Tower, including his brother-in-law, Charlie, played by Casey Affleck. When one of the tenants is revealed as a fraudster, who Kovaks mistakenly invested his whole staff's pension plan into, Josh begins to develop a daring scheme to rob the penthouse apartment of his workplace and return the rightful money to its owners.
Eddie Murphy and Matthew Broderick co-star in very amusing roles. Murphy plays the "expert" thief who Kovaks turns to when devising his plan to rob the penthouse and Matthew Broderick plays an uptight and broke former-banker, a character that is miles apart from his iconic turn as Ferris Bueller, the cock-sure chancer who famously took a 'Day Off'.
Alan Alda features as the investment fraudster who becomes the target for the gang's heist. He manages to play the character with a great deal of ambiguity, where you aren't quite sure whether he is a victim or completely hoodwinking everyone into believing he is a nice, old man.
The film did suffer from an odd pacing - it seemed that there was a lot of set-up and exposition in order to lead the characters to the point where they would consider the heist, then a further act showcasing their attempts to train and learn the skills. The actual heist, which one would assume to be the bulk of the movie, seemed to go by too quickly and without half as many hitches and problems as I would have expected. Unlike Ocean's Eleven, these aren't professional con-men, so there were a few hiccups, but there weren't enough moments of actual tension during the actual heist scenes, compared to other movies of the same genre, where something is about to go wrong at any given moment.
I had a few quibbles with the ending, which I won't spoil, but certain scenes aren't shown to preserve the element of surprise and misdirect the viewer, but this ends up leaving questions on how the cast managed to wrap up some of the loose ends, which feels like lazy writing.
I did enjoy the film and while I wouldn't be one that I re-watch any time soon, I do recommend it as a counter to the typical heist movie and to fans of Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. It is a perfectly enjoyable Saturday night movie, which is not only fun, but relatively kid-friendly as well. Eddie Murphy's character may use some bad language, but there is no violence or sexual content, although it may promote daring displays of thievery...
[This Review may also appear on Ciao.co.uk under the same username]
Summary: A fun heist film that works as an antidote to the slicker proceedings of George Clooney