Tower Heist

In the movie Tower Heist, the employees of The Tower, a ritzy high-rise condominium in New York City, fall victim to a Ponzi scheme and lose their 401(k). Now normally there wouldn’t be anything they could do about it but Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), the one behind the Ponzi scheme, is one of the residents at The Tower.

Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), former general anager of The Tower, has an idea to steal the defrauded employees’ money back, but he needs help with his grand scheme. Josh brings in his brother-in-law Cole Howard (Casey Affleck) and Rick Malloy (Michael Pena). Both are former employees and as such have a score to settle. Josh also enlists the help of Odessa Montero (Gabourey Sidibe) who is currently a maid at the Tower and Chase Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), a former resident.

While eager to do what they believe is right, the group does not have a background in crime, so Josh brings in Slide (Eddie Murphy), a thief from his neighborhood that he has known since childhood. Will this band of merry men and woman be successful and save the day Robin Hood-style or will they run afoul of FBI Agent Claire Denham (Tea Leoni)?

The film has a very entertaining story that unfolds beautifully and a better cast would be impossible to find. Now with that said, there were some parts in the movie that were distracting to me because I could not suspend my disbelief that far, however, I can’t say what they are due to the fact that I do not want to spoil any scenes for you.

Eddie Murphy did an amazing job of keeping his character realistic and at the same time unbelievably funny. Without a doubt every scene Murphy is in is golden. Not only did Alan Alda’s character get arrested for stealing people’s money but he almost stole the show. And even though every fiber of my being wanted to dislike his character, who is an arrogant, self-righteous, demeaning jerk; Alda portrayed him in such a way that I was actually sort of hoping that the character would get away with it. Now I know all you Benheads out there are asking “What about Ben Stiller?” You all will be happy to know that he was great, he was definitely the humorous glue that held the movie together. Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena and Casey Affleck were all very entertaining though at times Casey gets drowned out by the others. Last but certainly not least Gabourey Sidibe and Tea Leoni were both great and incredibly funny however they did not get anywhere near as much screen time as I would have liked.

4.25 out of 5 Chess Moves (movie reference)