Ben Stiller stars in Tower Heist, about a group of con-men who devise a plan to swindle the residents of New York’s upscale Trump Tower, where they also work
Queens native Josh Kovacs (Stiller) has managed one of the most luxurious and well-secured residences in New York City for more than a decade. Under his watchful eye, nothing goes undetected. In the swankiest unit atop Josh’s building, Wall Street titan Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is under house arrest after being caught stealing two billion from his investors. The hardest hit among those he defrauded? The tower staffers whose pensions he was entrusted to manage.
With only days before Arthur gets away with the perfect crime, Josh’s crew turns to petty crook Slide (Murphy) to plan the nearly impossible… to steal what they are sure is hidden in Arthur’s guarded condo. Though amateurs, these rookie thieves know the building better than anyone. Turns out they’ve been casing the place for years, they just didn’t know it.
This is one of those “real potential” movies. It had the potential to be genuinely funny and entertaining but, regretfully, it falls short due to two main reasons: 1. It is sometimes not funny when trying to be and: 2. It has a massive amount of language in it. The profanities roll off the character’s tongues pretty consistently. The audience I viewed the film with sat in silence during what you could tell were supposed to be humorous moments in various scenes. I don’t know really if it is the director’s fault or screen writers or both, but I think the actors did the best they could, given what they had to work with. There is really no great or clear theme in the movie either. When a swindler named Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) uses the Trump Tower’s employees’ pension money, not to mention investment money from a certain character, in fraudulent ways, Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), a manager, determines to get even with him and get the money back. So revenge is part of the plot. He has a good reason, saving the pensions of many workers who labored for years, but his approach is all wrong.
The movie does contain some entertaining moments, such as when Kovacs and his team attempts to lower a Ferrari down several stories during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But there aren’t enough good moments and the content of the movie spoils things too. Why not see “Puss in Boots” with your family this weekend?