Saturday, April 07, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Tower Heist (2011) **½

PG-13, 104 min.
Director: Brett Ratner
Writers: Ted Griffin, Jeff Nathanson, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Alan Alda, Téa Leoni, Judd Hirsch, Gabourey Sibide, Stephen Henderson

“Tower Heist” is exactly the amount of entertainment that it needs to be. It’s a comedy, but it’s a little more serious than some. It’s a heist movie, but it’s a little more silly than most. It’s fun.

The story involves a Bernie Madoff type of businessman, played by Alan Alda. After he’s arrested for a Ponzi scheme, the staff that has served him at his residential high rise loses all of their pensions. Some of the staff members, lead by Ben Stiller, decide to steal their money back when they find out about a hidden safe in his penthouse. None of these men are criminals, so they hire a thief, played by Eddie Murphy, to help them.

To be honest, I don’t really have much to say about this movie. It isn’t great, but it makes for a good relaxing and entertaining rental. Stiller and Murphy are as good as they ever are. Matthew Broderick is good, but almost seems underutilized in his role. Casey Affleck is just right in his role as Stiller’s brother-in-law, who kind of rides his coattails. Téa Leoni makes a good authority figure who can double as a goofball. Alda makes a good slimeball one percenter. I also liked Gabourey Sibide. She’s a charming and brave actress. She knows who she is. I like that.

I smiled during this imperfect movie. Perfection isn’t a necessity with this type of movie though. Basically, if you think what I’ve explained about this movie makes it sound like something you want to see, you’ll probably enjoy it. If not, it’s not for you.

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