Rental Corner: “Hesit” a glorious return for comedy
Ben Stiller proves not only can he be oddly funny, but great as the straight man in a film. “Tower Heist” shows this when his character Josh, the manager of a hotel where its Wall Street tycoon Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) rests on the way top floor, finds out him and many others have been cheated from their boss taking money literally from their paychecks. In retaliation, he visits Arthur and responses to his actions by destroying the windows on Arthur’s Ferrari with great rage. This is just proof that Ben Stiller has no limits to what he can do and the unexpected turns this crime comedy takes.
Upon getting their pensions removed, Josh and his friends decided to do the unthinkable and steal $20 million from a hidden safe that rests in the wall of Arthur’s room. Under the “Robin Hood” influence, they get help from Slide (an unbelievable, “at long last,” hilarious Eddie Murphy role), a crook that is heavily street wise and has a punk attitude to his persona. This “punk” element does get a tad tiring but puts Eddie’s magical use of one-linears to good rather than tossing them into a nearby garbage can like Pluto Nash or Beverly Hills Cop 3. Once he gets involved, “Tower Heist” kicks into high gear tossing out one laugh after another. After the first 30 minutes, things turn as the rag-tag “rat pack” are trained to do the unthinkable and by the end you really root for them to make it out of a suite with a massive amount of dough.
What makes this movie work is the relationship between these ordinary people and how they want to achieve the impossible heist of a lifetime. While planning things out and even during the big crime, their trust and loyalty is put to test as one back stabs another or someone manages to find a new way around things. I was rather amazed by how far the humor could stretch as it took a lot of risks and even challenges along to way that appeared inconceivable to overcome. The final 40 minutes is pure writing gold as another twist and turn is placed out cleverly as the scheme begins to unravel down into a conclusion that may not satisfy some, but is new for crime comedies. Either way, its good to know that there are some smart films like this out there which do exist. Had I’d seen this in the theaters, it would have ranked #2 on my spot of “Best Films of 2011” and right behind “Super 8.”
Posted on April 22, 2012, in Rental Corner and tagged Rental Corner Tower Heist Eddie Murphy Ben Stiller Money. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.