Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Casey Affleck
Running time: 104 minutes
Release date: 4 November
Age restriction: 13 L
It’s been a long time since a good caper comedy hit the silver screen. It’s also been a long time since a good Eddie Murphy performance was seen. Thankfully not only is Tower Heist the freshest take on the bank robbery concept that I’ve seen in years but it also reinvigorates Murphy’s image for an audience that isn’t just out of diapers.
Josh Kovacs is the manager of the Tower Hotel, a luxury building where the wealthy not only visit but use as a permanent residence. Among its tenants is Arthur Shaw, an older business man who made it big but isn’t too much of a dick about it and lives in his penthouse suite in the hotel. Josh and the rest of the Tower staff trust Shaw so much as to invest their pension funds with him. Unfortunately for them, Shaw is a shyster of note, pulling them into his nefarious pyramid scheme. The police pinch Shaw and hold him under house arrest until his trial for embezzling millions of dollars including the pensions of the Tower staff. Using their knowledge of the Tower hotel, Josh and his band of ex-Tower employees devise a plan to break into Shaw’s hidden safe and liberate the cash that is rightfully theirs…but they can’t do it alone. Enter Slide, a common thief that is there to train these straight-arrows into cat-burglars.
The whole package just seems to fit, and with a near-perfect balance between comedy and action, this film is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish and the pacing rarely ever lags. The plot is exactly what you’d expect it to be and that’s okay because hidden within it are some surprisingly elaborate set pieces and unexpected twists that separate it from all the Ocean’s movies that recently popularised the genre. Most surprising of all though is seeing Murphy return to his action routes and tackle a more mature yet suitably comedic role as opposed to all the kiddy-centric and gag-films that he has headlined lately. The cast as a unit bring a wide variety of performances that are all equally compelling – Ben Stiller is still doing what he does best but the likes of Mathew Broderick and Michael Pena really add texture to a group that has all shapes and sizes.
The bottom line is that this film doesn’t disappoint, it’s a fun night out and the combination of these actors provide lovable and entertaining characters that fit perfectly into this band of misfits that are obviously in over their heads. The plot is a pitch perfect action comedy that forces you into a tail spin when it needs to.
Popcorn fodder yes, but still a well contructed flick nonetheless
Pick up the latest Mail & Guardian – my mini review of 50/50 is in the film section and it is my movie of the week!