As of Sunday there was good news, bad news, and ominous news concerning the just released “Tower Heist.”
The good news is that it beat out the latest installment of the lame “Harold and Kumar” series. The bad news is that it lost bad to the animated “Puss and Boots,” which was already in it’s second week of release. But the ominous news is the worst, because numbers invariably go down and with some biggies coming out next weekend (“J.Edgar” leading the way.) “Tower Heist” is fated to be a non financial success.
Too bad, because the movie isn’t half bad. That’s not to say it’s great by any stretch of the imagination, but it kept me interested, and I think the studio honchos would have been wiser to release it late summer when the competition isn’t as strong.
“Tower Heist” certainly sports an all star cast much like an “Ocean’s Eleven” flick. You start with Ben Stiller, and then add in Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Casey Afleck, Tea Leoni (I still have a crush on her), Michael Pena and Judd Hirsch.
The premise is semi ridiculous (what isn’t these days) but it was easy to follow. Alda plays a Bernie Madoff scumbag type who has stole money from everybody, including all the people who live in his building run by Stiller. Eventually, Stiller gets the balls to go after Alda, but since the building employees are all amateurs (at best) they need a real con, and that’s where Murphy comes in. Every five years or so Murphy seems to reprise a street roll he made famous from his earlier flicks and that’s pretty much what he does in this one. The added funny feature (for me at least) is that he also throws in a little bit of the character Leon from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and I’m not sure if anybody else got it, but I sure did and laughed pretty hard at it.
Oh, I should add that Gabourey Sidibe also has a small role in this movie, and I’ll admit I was dead wrong about one thing. Though she was beyond outstanding in “Precious,” I just couldn’t see her in any other movie role. But obviously she has a good agent and he found her a part.
The ending of this movie was even more ridiculous then the plot itself but what the heck, it’s a comedy.
As mentioned, I can’t say I loved it, but it was decent escapism as I needed a couple of hours away to stop cursing the idiotic owners and dumb players in the current NBA Lockout……..damn them both!
My rating – a run-scoring double – two and a half stars for “Tower Heist.”