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home : movies : movies May 28, 2016

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5/28/2012 9:01:00 AM
MOVIE REVIEW: Tower Heist has no substance but plenty of star power style
By Sean Morris
Sports Reporter

The plot in Tower Heist has more holes than Eddie Murphy's career and contains about as many gut-busting laughs as a click-it-or-ticket infomercial. It's also just as pointless. Weirdly, I still think you should see it.

Given the opportunity to review a movie of my choice, I went to a Redbox outside a gas station and picked a movie I remembered looked good from the trailer.

Tower Heist (directed by Brett Ratner) on BlueRay cost me $1.50 for a day rental. With names like Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Mathew Broderick, Alan Alda, and Gabourey Sidibe, I figured it had to be decent.

Surprised by the lack of comedy to start the movie, I realized reviewing Tower Heist wouldn't be as easy as originally thought. Ponzi schemes, foreclosure, evaporating pensions, class distinction, and even a suicide attempt give the movie a more serious tone at times than expected.

Centered on a ritzy apartment building staff in New York City headed by Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), and the ponzi scheming penthouse owner living above it all, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), Tower Heist is about a few guys who want to take back money the staff lost from Shaw's fraud.

The conspirators looking to take down Shaw must hatch an improbable plan and execute it perfectly, improvising along the way, avoiding death, building up to an unbelievable climax.

Cliché? Yes. Tower Heist is not a great movie; it's an OK movie and to enjoy it you have to divorce yourself from glaring plot issues.

With minimal character development, the movie relies on star power.

Making matters worse, you can't tell what genre the film is supposed to be. Not too funny and not quite an action film, yet it contains elements of both those genres, Tower Heist will not make you stand up and cheer.

So what's redeeming about the film? Why do I recommend it? A group of regular 99-percent Joes take down a giant Wall Street fraud that thinks he's above the law.

It could never happen in real life, but it makes sense for entertainment.

Completely predictable, but OK because it delivers something all Americans want to see - the takedown of an American swindler by common men turned stealth.

I know this isn't a ringing endorsement, so if you'd like a movie that has more of a cultural impact, maybe one that makes you think a little bit, go for a classic that won best picture. I've been checking as many as I can off the list and you can't go wrong.

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