Starring: Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Eddie Murphy
Director: Brett Ratner
Running Time: 104 mins
Tower Heist is an American film about a group of employees who, after discovering they’ve fallen victim to their wealthy employer’s dodgy dealings, decide to get their own back and stage a heist on his penthouse residence.
Even though it’s got an all-star cast of comedy legends, I can’t say that Tower Heist really has anything to offer, with a fairly generic and predictable story complemented by a real lack of properly hilarious comedy, meaning that despite a simple, easy-going and light-hearted atmosphere, this really isn’t much of an entertaining film in any way.
Saying that, let’s look briefly at some of the film’s positives, and where you can find a bit of enjoyment amidst the general mediocrity. First off, the performances. While I can’t say that any of the leads put in their greatest work, with some seeming to be putting almost no effort into their rather underwhelming performances, there are still some funny features to be seen here and there.
While none of the actors is a real bright spark, there are some who put in good turns. Eddie Murphy is by far the film’s most energetic presence, and even though he’s not as major a character as you may expect, he does inject some real life into some sequences alongside his generally more low-energy co-stars. Téa Leoni, too, is entertaining as the FBI agent involved in the whole scenario, even though her character doesn’t have much to do, while Stephen Henderson shines as the film’s most genuine and likable character as doorman Lester, who doesn’t have the biggest role, but is easily the most memorable presence in the film.
Apart from the performances, there’s a case to say that the film’s simple story means that it’s never a particularly frustrating watch. While it doesn’t do much to inspire any excitement, and is a generally dull watch, it’s formulaic and simplistic enough to follow along without too much effort, meaning that this film can prove engaging as the lowest level of brain-off relaxation.
With all that said, however, I really wasn’t impressed by most of what Tower Heist had to offer. Starting with the story, its generic nature makes it a very dull watch, and along with poor screenwriting that even makes some of its main characters’ roles unnnecessarily difficult to understand, it’s a generally difficult film to really get to grips with and care about.
The biggest problem, however, is its lack of comedy. While I said that some actors do bring a certain energy and life to some moments, the overwhelming feel of this film is that it just doesn’t have a comedic bone in its body, failing to ever really make me laugh beyond the odd smirk here and there, and as such leaving its barebones story to bear the brunt of your focus.
What’s so frustrating about the poor comedy is that it’s something that leaves you feeling completely underwhelmed right from the beginning. Within ten minutes, it’s fairly clear that this isn’t a hilarious film, and from then on, you’re left sitting bored and frustrated with the extreme lack of good humour, waiting fruitlessly for some proper entertainment.
Overall, I didn’t think much of Tower Heist. It has a few small positives that can make it an engaging watch, but its general lack of good comedy and generic story make it a really rather dull watch throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.4.