Tower Heist, 2011

I suppose this is what you might call an action-comedy film: equal parts of both, yet lacking the essential je ne sais quoi to make the movie memorable.  There’s big name actors like Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Alan Alda, and a Robin Hood theme to the story, but if I were to be kind more than clear, I’d say what the movie lacks in credibility of plot and heart, it makes up for in slick cinematography and special effects.

Plus, there’s always the thrill of seeing the New York City skyline, especially when you get views of it from a penthouse located on the Upper West Side.  And as for the actors, well, if you like Ben Stiller, then there’s nothing not to like about this, because Mr. Stiller is in fine form throughout.  As for Eddie Murphy, this is actually a throwback to the roles that he played prior to the immortality that came to him from playing Donkey in the Shrek series.  And as for Alan Alda, the good-guy persona that he acquired through all the many years of playing the funny doctor on the M*A*S*H* series is a mere shadow of a remembrance.

And so, we have yet another attempt by Hollywood to cash in with the usual formula of big names and big city plots, but you win some, and you others you don’t.  This happens to fall into that latter category, but then again, all is not lost if you can catch a matinee show or have a student-discount to check it out at the movies.  If not, you’re best off waiting for the DVD release.


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