UK Release date: 4th November 2011
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 3rd November 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This will be a shorter review than usual; I don’t feel it’s worth putting a lot of effort into it as the filmmakers seemed to feel the same. Here’s a quick summary: Bad guy investor, Arthur Shaw gets busted for fraud and a group of employees in the building where he lives find their pension fund gone. With little chance of getting it back, a group of them led by building manager, Josh Kovaks, decide to steal it back from Mr Shaw’s penthouse apartment. They have no experience of robbery and so Kovaks brings in a thief, Slide… and that’s about all you need to know.
This is one of those films that has a great cast but fails to deliver on so many levels. Yes, things do pick up when Eddie Murphy is on screen as Slide, but other than that it’s a pretty much by-the-book heist comedy. Ben Stiller plays, well, Ben Stiller, as Josh Kovaks and Alan Alda does a fairly decent job as Arthur Shaw. Other than that you could have put almost anyone in the other parts and nobody would have noticed. However, I’ll name and shame them; Casey Affleck plays Charlie, could do much better; Matthew Broderick plays Mr. Fitzhugh, needs to speak to his agent; Stephen Henderson plays Lester; Judd Hirsch plays Mr. Simon, he’s much better than this; Téa Leoni plays Special Agent Claire Denham, she was good but deserves better parts than this; Michael Peña plays Enrique Dev’Reaux, again, could do better, and finally; Gabourey Sidibe plays Odessa, and I can only hope she’s not started a trend of playing the fat black woman in comedies… she is SO much better than this!
Over all a film that had one or two moments but one which I didn’t particularly enjoy. I found it far too predictable, although I did like most of the scenes featuring Eddie Murphy; he’s still got some of that old magic. I found it shocking that so many talented actors were persuaded to participate in this formulaic dross. I just hope that someone out there in Hollywoodland is making some decent films in which, at least some of these actors, can get a chance to show what they can do! They certainly didn’t get a chance here! All I learned was that Téa Leoni plays drunk pretty well.
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED
My score: 4.9/10
IMDb Score: 6.2/10 (based on 55,506 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 59/100: (Based on 39 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 51/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 48,123 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Josh Kovacs: The average apartment in the Tower costs 5.6 million dollars. We have the best views, the most advanced security systems, but you know what these people are really buying?
Rick Malloy: White neighbors?
Josh Kovacs: Several years ago, he was asked to manage all your pensions. Right now, they're saying that anyone who invested with Mr Shaw has been frauded.
Odessa Montero: Did he get your money too?
Josh Kovacs: ...Yeah. He did.
Cole Howard: We're not criminals. We don't know how to steal...
Josh Kovacs: Don't worry. I know someone who does.
Slide: How come you bailed me out? Man, I don't even know your name!
Josh Kovacs: You don't remember Mrs Schaltzberg? We used to get dropped at her house every day for daycare! Heavy-set German woman, short goatee.
Slide: You the little seizure boy that's having seizures all the time!
Josh Kovacs: Asthma doesn't cause seizures!
Cole Howard: [to Devro] Devro, will you please remind Mr. Shaw?
Rick Malloy: [to Shaw] I'm very sorry, Mr. Shaw, but we don't accept tips at the tower.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/tower-heist/