Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Tower Heist": Recession-Friendly Film

I wasn't expecting a lot when I saw "Tower Heist," and this is probably why I loved the movie. It was pretty predictable, not at all thought-provoking, but especially in this day and age, sometimes you need those qualities in a movie. It's funny and ends with a good message: one day the rich will pay for cheating the poor. (Or something like that...I was feeling sad that I paid $6 for popcorn and am unemployed...but I think that was the moral of the story.)

Although Brett Ratner's film has been overshadowed by his off-screen antics (see: being fired from producing the Oscars for saying a homophobic slur,) he has created a fun, simple movie with some great physical comedy hijinks. Ratner also brought together a stellar cast. Ben Stiller does less mugging than usual, and often provides some of the movie's more level-headed humor. His group of misfits include Matthew Broderick, Jay Hernandez, Casey Affleck, and Eddie Murphy--a good mix of various comedic styles.

The real standout is Alan Alda as the Bernie Madoff-esque villain who steals from everyone working at the hotel where his penthouse is located. I'm really in love with comedians doing darker pieces right now (like Albert Brooks in "Drive" and Martin Short and Lily Tomlin on FX's "Damages.") You automatically expect these actors to be humorous and lighthearted. So when they turn out to be total sociopaths, the audience gets a nice switch. This effect is a huge advantage for "Tower Heist."

My only main problem with the film was the odd choice of casting Gabourey Sidibe (Academy Award nominee for "Precious") as a Jamaican maid who specializes in breaking into safes. Her accent was super fake and distracting, which also left my mind to trail off wondering why she would even do this movie in the first place.

Overall, this was a nice film where you don't have to think too hard, and you can laugh at the general silliness the actors bring to the table.

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