Tower Heist is only so-so when it comes to comparison with great heist movies like Topkapi or Riffifi, but it is entertaining.
Probably the best thing about this film is the cast rather than the plot. Ben Stiller plays the super efficient manager of an ultraswank New York high-rise apartment. Alan Alda plays the multi-millionaire living in the penthouse who’s arrested by the FBI for shady finanacing.
It turns out he’s also been investing, or stealing, the pension fund of the high-rise’s employees, so Stiller plans to steal the money back from Alda’s apartment. He’s never done anything crooked before so he enlists the help of Eddie Murphy, playing a street thief (Murphy’s back in form with wisecracks and double takes), and various others including Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick and Michael Pena. Tea Leoni has fun playing a boozy FBI agent with the hots for Stiller.
The heist itself is not particularly believable, but it is fun as our merry crew of thieves bungle their way thru the mission. They break into Alda’s apartment looking for millions in his wall safe. But they soon realize that his sports car (it once belonged to Steven McQueen and Alda displays it in his living room) is solid gold. It turns out it’s not easy to get a car out of a high-rise without anyone noticing. This film, which has an unsatisfactory ending, is not recommended for those with a fear of heights.
Rating: three deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.