[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B005NYZ3HI][/pullquote] What do Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy have in common? Well, they both can be incredibly funny when they’re not being ungodly annoying. Ben Stiller has been very good in some movies (Dodgeball, There’s Something About Mary) and also some very, very bad ones (Night At The Museum 2, Envy). Eddie Murphy has also been in very good films (Dreamgirls, Trading Places) and very bad ones (Norbit, Vampire In Brooklyn). You can’t help but be cynical about Tower Heist, as both Stiller and Murphy have both had massive career slumps in the last 10 years. Luckily, it is a great return to form for both actors.
Tower Heist revolves around Josh Kovacs (Stiller), a manager for a very successful apartment tower. However, after his boss Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) gets arrested on charges of stealing $2 billion. The staff then discover that Kovacs invested all of their pension money on the promise of a big return, and that their money is gone. Kovacs then finds out that Shaw has a $20 million safety net in cash at his apartment. Kovacs decides to break into the apartment and steal the $20 million and spread it around all the employees who’s money he lost, with the help of two of fellow employees (Michael Pena and Casey Affleck), a friend (Matthew Broderick), and a convicted criminal (Eddie Murphy).
While there’s very little thought to the plot, there’s a lot of heart to this film. It’s not one to analyse every plot point, rather one to enjoy as a whole, as the lack of brains and a few plot holes don’t actually detract from the film overall. It’s a fun romp, and that’s difficult to find in today’s stream of comedies that have very little jokes, and instead choose to take refuge in vulgarity and sex related dialogue rather than witty jokes.There are some laugh out loud funny moments, mostly delivered brilliantly by Eddie Murphy, who seems to be playing a very similar character to the one he played in Trading Places. His role as the thief Slide is absolutely perfect for him, and he steals (no pun intended) the show with his trademark delivery which only compliments the wittiness of the script.
While Murphy’s character is comparable to Trading Places, Tower Heist never reaches the same heady heights of that John Landis classic. Ben Stiller doesn’t do as well as hoped, but considering his career in the last decade, it certainly shows improvement. All the rest of the cast do a very good job, but get overshadowed by Murphy. In fact, that’s were the film falls a bit. There was far too much emphasis put on the rest of the cast, and not enough on Murphy. His character is a bit too underdeveloped, while Stiller’s character and the supporting cast almost get in the way. However, every moment Tower Heist has Murphy onscreen is very funny and it’s a marvellous return to form.