Monday, November 14, 2011

Tower Heist

Tower Heist – 104min – PG13

I try not to judge a movie before I have seen it but I was sorely unimpressed with the trailers for this film. This movie suffers from poor trailer representation. It was a much better film than the trailers made it out to be. However, that does not mean it was a good film. There was some enjoyment for the ride but it did not deliver on great entertainment. I have mentioned in in the past that I am a science fiction fan so I have a good suspension of disbelief skill, but I had some serious issues with this movie from a plausibility standpoint. It was nice to see some old names back on screen. I just hope they do something better next time. I was expecting to give this movie a red light but I have to move it up to a Yellow.

The story is about Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), a mastermind of a Ponzi scheme. He has stolen the money of all of his investors; among them is the entire staff of his building. Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) the building manager who performs his duty extremely well. Charlie (Casey Affleck) the concierge. The last two people of interest on the staff are one of the maids Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe) and Enrique (Michael Pena) the elevator operator.

Josh decides to get their money back and enlisted help of two other people. Slide (Eddie Murphy), a street wise thief and Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick) a former tenant who was fired from his Merrill Lynch job and evicted from the tower.

Together they start to plan a robbery of the nest egg that Mr. Shaw has in his apartment. This unlikely team has asked Slide to teach them how to steal, and the movie takes on a feel of training them to perform the tasks needed to pull off this robbery.

This story has a few twist in it that I did not expect, and some that I do not believe. If it were written better it might have been an excellent film. This was a great idea that was executed poorly. The writers on this all seem to be new and if not new they have a disastrous credit list. The rogues gallery of writers consists of Ted Griffin, Jeff Nathanson, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage. With so many people you would think they could have spotted some of the plot holes in the script. The director (Brett Ratner) has done a few hits in the past but he has also had his share of misses. Perhaps he should stick to producing.

The main problem in this movie is the disjointed ending that seems to be rushed because they ran out of money or time. It’s like they ran out of steam in story telling or realized they wrote themselves into a corner and said ”and they all make it out and everyone was ok, the end”.

Spoiler Warning!!! Employees Only beyond this point.!!!!

The end should have been about everyone at the tower helping the robbery go down after things went sideways. The end just magically happened. What really went down is the better story. The ending was the only reason this movie falls into the yellow light category.

Instead of having Josh pay for the crime to have a failed attempt at a lesson that someone must pay for this act of vigilantism. It should have been just like a heist film and the real bad guy does get his just deserts. If you have a two ton car resting on an elevator you can stretch the disbelief to make a happy ending.

I enjoyed Tea Leoni as Special Agent Claire Denham. Her character was done well and I liked her no nonsense approach to the character. She has always struck me as someone who brings realism to the roles she plays. It’s enjoyable to watch her work. Eddie Murphy on the other hand did nothing memorable for me in the movie. He should have played it more rough edge as opposed to the stereotypical street criminal.

What was your favorite Eddie murphy role and your least favorite? Let’s talk about the ups and downs of his carrier.

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