Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tower Heist Review

Tower Heist is a movie that has a hard time deciding what it wants to be.  Throughout the whole film, there is never really any consistent theme developed.  It starts out as a movie that seems light hearted but has the potential to get quite serious and dark quickly.  Then, Ben Stiller bails Eddie Murphy out of jail and it goes into a very dialogue based comedy involving those two and the core thieves.  My brother Karl pointed out that it almost became a buddy comedy which was a very apt description.  Then, it finally becomes the comedic heist movie that it was advertised as.  This inconsistency is really the only drawback of the film and it is far from enough to diminish the viewer's enjoyment.

The rest of the film is really quite solid.  The dialogue writing is very good and it is delivered through some very strong timing from all of the actors.  The ones that really stand out though are Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick and Michael Pena.  Murphy normally has a tendency to be either really on or really off with his hyper-speed line delivery.  In Tower Heist, he is on and he has a very good chemistry with Ben Stiller.  Broderick was a perfect choice for the geeky, soft spoken and timid character who comes out with the occasional line that makes you laugh out loud.  But (and I was very surprised by this), Pena steals just about every scene he's in.  He's one of those actors that you recognize but never really stands out.  This is by far the best work I've seen him do and, to me, it was very memorable.

The story writing and development was really decent for the most part.  For a lot of the movie, it seemed actually quite plausible that this could happen.  Then, it derails through some theatrics and plot twists that make it lose a bit of credibility.  It's pretty important to the plot and wasn't advertised in any of the marketing so I won't give away specifically what it is but I can say it has to do with where and when they find out where the money is hidden (anybody who knows anything about heist movies can't complain about giving that much away).  Again, it isn't enough to take away from the entertainment value of the movie.  But it does go back to the inconsistency of the film.

However, inconsistency notwithstanding, see it.  While it isn't the best heist movie or even comedy out there, it definitely delivers superior value for your money and time.  It is worth it for the comedic timing and interaction of the characters.

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