Some credit goes to the motley crew of assembled thieves in Tower Heist for keeping it lively, but this movie is far from an Oceans 11. It’s even a reach to call this a heist film. It’s certainly not a comedy, so maybe we just call it an implausible heist movie. Then again if it really was Donald Trump they were stealing things from, I might feel better about it all.
The movie uses Trump Tower in New York as its central character, except it’s just named the “Tower” in this one. The building’s day-to-day operations are run by perfectionist Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) until he and the other employees find out that investor and penthouse resident Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) has swindled them out of their pension money.
Josh, with several other building employees hatch a plan to steal Shaw’s secret stash of cash. The idea is the employees know the building so well, they can pull off the heist unnoticed. Tea Leoni plays a FBI agent after Shaw, who is also sympathetic to Josh’s cause.
The unlikely criminal crew includes Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe and Eddie Murphy. Murphy finally ditches the “family movie” monkey he’s been carrying on his back for over a decade. His character Slide is a street wise small time thief who holds a clinic on Robbery 101 for the crew. A pleasant change, but not enough to carry the comic element.
For those with problems in high places, I won’t reveal the broad plot of how the heist goes down, but let’s say my vertigo kicked in once or twice.
Here’s one thing that seemed off. The story is very topical involving a top income earner who scams the working class out of their money. I somewhat expected a nod to be given to the Occupy Wall Street movement. The movie involves the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade from 2011, but at least there could have been a news headline appearing somewhere about the little people rising up.