Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is a property manager with a salient talent for making residents feel at ease. He is by all means a supportive and understanding boss and he schmoozes with the best of them. Kovacs presides over a multi-million dollar Manhattan high rise apartment tower. His best friend and benefactor is the owner, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda). Mr. Shaw outwardly appears to be a wonderful, caring, and personable man. Appearances are quite deceiving. As it turns out, Mr. Shaw is the subject of an FBI investigation into embezzlement of retirement funds and is also under investigation for defrauding his own employees of their 401Ks and pensions. The ostensibly kindly and charming old man is in fact a master crook.
Shaw's nefarious actions have caused Kovacs and his entire staff to lose their life savings. To be laconic, they are flat broke and fleeced. This includes the bumbling concierge Charlie (Casey Affleck) whose wife is pregnant, the new Native American elevator operator Enrique DevReaux (Michael Pena), the head maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe), and the advocate to be Miss Iovenko (Nina Arianda). Even more cruelly, he is demanding the eviction of poor Mr. Fitzhugh (Broderick) who is recently divorced after having swum naked with his wife in Greece. subsequent to explicating to the entire hotel staff that their boss has swindled them, Josh, Charlie and Enrique venture up to Shaw's penthouse suite and smash the windows of his Ferrari to pieces. Smashing windows in front of the FBI is never a great idea, but it does win the affection of the sultry FBI Agent Claire Denham (Tea Leoni). Agent Denham is sympathetic to their cause and has a crush on Josh.
They are all fired and Shaw's true colors show as he reprimands his former prized employees with insults and threats of legal consequences. This sudden turn of events causes Josh to begin plotting revenge against his former mentor. It also comes to his attention that Shaw is hiding millions of dollars in his apartment in stolen money. What ensues, with the help of several members of the staff (including the suicidal doorman Lester), and his childhood acquaintance Donkey, I mean Slide (Eddie Murphy) is one the most bizarre, twisted and hilarious robberies in the history of dumbassness.
The build up to the planning of the robbery is worthless footage. Sorry Director Brett Ratner, but you need to stick to the comedy and forget about building drama and suspense. Let the action and not the dramatic posturing capture our attention. The real star of the show is not Ben Stiller or Eddie Murphy, it is Matthew Broderick. Something about being around a Ferrari makes him insanely funny. Though he is senescent as can be, Broderick knows how to act. Almost every line out of his mouth is the funniest one liner to be spoken in decades. He is John Candy funny and that is hard to accomplish. It is too bad he has not acted in more slaptsticky films in years past.
Everything that occurs toward the dénouement is hysterical. The writing is fabulous and the acting is superb. Eddie Murphy reminds me too much of Donkey to be taken seriously. Tea Leoni is a great actress that has not received the acclaim she deserves. Alan Alda is a doofus but so are the characters he plays. Perhaps he is a great actor that is so cogent in his roles that we believe he is a schmo while in real life he is prince charming. Tower Heist is worth a look though many of you will be tempted to fast forward so as to not suffer through boring plot building. Two gold bars up folks.
Copyright © 2010 Screen Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Certain product data © 2010-present Screen Media, Inc. For personal use only. All rights reserved.