November 15, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 82, Issue 5

'Tower Heist' delivers laughs

(photo courtesy of google images)

(photo courtesy of google images)

Tower Heist, directed by Brett Ratner, is a story about sticking it to the man.

Ben Stiller plays Josh Kovacks, the building manager of The Tower, a posh apartment complex in Manhattan. His job is to make sure that his hardworking crew caters to the needs of The Tower's high-class residents by opening doors, picking up their trash, shining shoes, and cooking meals.

While monitoring security cameras one day, Kovacks notices that one of the residents, billionaire Arthur Shaw, played by Alan Alda, seemed to have been taken hostage in the back of an unmarked van. Loyal to his resident, Kovacks chased down the van, only to learn that Shaw was on the run for investment fraud. The Tower's staff is directly affected by this since Shaw invested all of their pensions, which are now completely lost.

Kovacks has a hunch that Shaw has a vault hidden in his swanky penthouse filled with $20,000,000. Determined to get his blue-collar crew their life savings back, he devises a plan to break into Shaw's penthouse. He enlists the help of Slide, played by Eddie Murphy, a local thief who has been arrested several times, former Tower employees Charlie, played by Casey Affleck, and Enrique Dev'Reaux, played by Michael Pena, and Mr. Fitzhugh, played by Matthew Broderick, an out of work Wall Street investor.

Although this film is an action comedy, its humorous side was played up more than the action side. Instead of being filled with Hollywood-esque explosions and elaborate car chases, it relied on character interactions to make it enjoyable. This movie was not meant to be extremely thought provoking or a cinematic masterpiece, just entertaining. It did just what it set out to do, entertain.

The most noticeable aspect of this movie was its stellar cast. Murphy, in particular, was true to his comedic form and was responsible for the majority of this film's laughs. I was expecting Pena's character as the laid back elevator operator only to be there for cheap jokes, but he was surprisingly genuinely funny. Broderick, who is most well-known for his role as the rebellious charmer Ferris Bueller, did a fine job portraying a meek, down-on-his-luck father.

This movie was simply funny. There were multiple instances where the audience, including myself, burst out laughing. When the movie ended, audience members were satisfied and seemed to enjoy it. If you are in the mood for an entertaining comedy, this is the movie for you.

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