Heist movies have had a long tradition in cinema. You have older classics like The Asphalt Jungle, Rififi and The Italian job but also more recent movies like Ocean’s Eleven and Heat. It’s a genre which keeps thrilling audiences and it all comes down to a small team trying to get something from a highly secured place and the viewer wanting them to succeed. Tower Heist has this too, but can it join the ranks of the previously named movies?
With a star studded cast including Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck this can easily be compared to something like Ocean’s Eleven, but here consisting mainly of comedians. Although it doesn’t have the same slickness it’s clear that this movie is banking on its stars to bring in the viewers.
Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is the manager of one of the most exclusive hotels in New York and makes sure that each of the people who stay there have everything they need. He runs a tight ship and expects perfection from everyone. Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is one of the guests who lives in the hotel and who has a very close relationship with Josh. They trust each other and Josh has given him a lot of money of the employees of the hotel to invest for their pension. When the FBI arrests him and they find out that they have been tricked they decide to rob his residency at the top of the tower.
The difference with other heist movies is that the guys who are doing this are no criminals and therefore have no idea how they should pull this off. They get help from a street criminal (played by Eddie Murphy).
The various characters don’t have too much depth to them, but it really doesn’t matter as it’s all about the interaction with others and being able to outsmart Shaw and the federal agents. Of course there are various funny situations these wanna be criminals end up in. This movie offers the thrills you would expect although it never reaches the level of the classics. This is strictly light entertainment and if you go in expecting nothing more you will have a good time.