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'Tower Heist' Features Eddie Murphy Back in 'Classic '80s Form

Want a movie where you can turn your brain off and just go for a ride? A tolerable Ben Stiller, an old-school Eddie Murphy and a nerdy Matthew Broderick topline "Tower heist," a pastiche comedy about the 99 percenters' revenge on a pseudo-Bernie Madoff. 

It's not as clever as it thinks it is. In fact it's ridiculous. But somehow the ensemble cast pulls off “Heist."

Directed by Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour”), “Heist” blends Murphy and Stiller's brash humor with the over-the-top spectacle of robbing a luxurious apartment building during the annual New York Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Stiller plays straight-laced and dutiful building manager Josh Kovacks. When the building’s wealthiest tenant Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), a Wall Street tycoon, is arrested for defrauding investors, including Kovacks and all the employees at the Tower, Kovacks gathers a band of oddballs to rob $20 million from Shaw’s penthouse. The flick starts out like a stalling engine, but it once it has its bearings it chugs along to an outrageous finale. It attempts to be a game of chess between Stiller and Alda, but there’s really nothing cunning about it at all as the balance between one-liners and clever shenanigans is tipped toward the funny quips.

Eddie Murphy is in overdrive throughout, an impressive reprise of the character he played in 80’s classics like "48 Hours" and "Trading Places." He’s as fast-talking as he wants to be, and gets the best dialogue in the film. Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) is also wonderful as the rough and tough safe-cracking maid who gives Murphy a run for his money.

All in all a fun romp that could have used a little more heist, and a little less hustle.

 

 

 

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