Tower Heist (2011) Review **WITH SPOILERS**

WARNING: Do not continue reading unless you want to be mildly spoiled on the movie, Tower Heist.

Watched Tower Heist with a friend of mine on Sunday; it was a good time really, in fact, it was even better than what I was expecting initially.  I didn’t even originally intend to watch this film, but since my friend wanted to see something I hadn’t seen yet, and I don’t really do well in horror/gory films, nor was I in a melancholy enough mood to see a more serious film, we decided on Tower Heist.  I was definitely pleasantly surprised; it was definitely better than the trailer led me to believe.

Here’s my thing about watching comedy movies and the thoughts I usually have after watching a comedy trailer; I’m usually pretty skeptical.  This is mostly because the trailers for these types of movies usually end up being the bulk of the funny parts in the movie, and the trailer is essentially the entire movie.  (Although I can see this being true in a lot of cases, not just comedy movies, which is why if I like the initial teaser/trailer for a movie, I won’t dig any deeper for spoilers or the like because I actually want to walk into a movie and be surprised.)

Anyway, I am very happy to say that the trailer did not spoil the entire movie, nor did it spoil the funniest parts of the film.

This particular review is filled with spoilers, but they are not as extensive as I usually do them, mostly because it’s a comedy, and I think part of the point when it comes to comedies compared to other genres is to walk in having no idea what you’re getting into, so sorry if that disappoints anyone out there!

Anyway, moving on to the spoiler bit.

On the one hand, walking in, you pretty much know what the movie you’re watching is going to be about.  Alan Alda’s character, Mr. Arthur Shaw, is one bad old dude.  As shown in the trailer, he swindles all the employees out of their money at this expensive apartment complex called The Tower.

On the flip side of things, you’re probably not going to expect the hilarity that ensues after.  I feel that it’s safe to say this given how the theater I was in was pretty packed and there was a lot of loud laughter going on around me.

All in all, I think this movie did a pretty good job for a comedy, especially because what you saw in the trailer was mostly just the first 15 minutes of the movie, and maybe a 5-minute snippet from somewhere in the middle of the movie.

This unlikely cast of characters definitely have some chemistry; I was actually surprised by that too, mostly because the comedic actors involved in this project have very different styles of humor, so I was expecting some of the dialogue to be a bit awkward and for the story to be a bit of a mess.  It all works out though, and it definitely made for a great comedy.

How would I sum up the movie in one sentence?  Basically, picture the five men (Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, and Michael Peña) as little boys doing some very mischievous things in order to get what they are ultimately after, which is the money Alda’s character has hidden away somewhere.

They are little boys in grown men’s bodies for the entire movie.  Stiller’s like the conniving kid that guides and bullies the rest of them, Murphy’s the kid that’s just along for the ride–seeing the other team members as convenient means to fulfill his own personal agenda, Affleck is Mr. Play-it-by-the-book, Broderick is like the kid whose nose is always running, and Peña is like the kid that always means well, but never seems to “get it right,” so to speak.

I’ll give you all the ending to this movie, but just to let you all know, this movie is a lot less about the plot or the ending and more about all the hilarious stuff that happens in between that just makes for a good, fun, and relaxing time.  If you’re looking for a movie that really gets you thinking, I’ll tell it to you straight, this isn’t the movie to go see.  (Although if you thought it was an introspective movie from watching the trailer, I find that to be kind of curious, haha.)

The ending is very simple: Ben Stiller’s character saves the day, protects everyone else, and takes the hit for doing so.  (You also find out in the movie that he was actually a big part of the reason the problem happened in the first place.)  Alda’s character goes to jail (for life, I believe, if I understood the implications correctly), and all the other supporting characters get their money back and live happily ever after.  Yay.

Before I get on to the review portion of this entry, I just want to say I’m surprised Puss in Boots has one up over this movie at the box office.  In terms of comedy, I think this one was far more hilarious than PIB, though I suppose the whole cute and furry animated cat thing is probably one of the main reasons for that.

Anyway, onto the review:

Originality: ***
Picture: ****
Sound: ****
Story: ***
Casting: ****
Re-watch Factor: ***
Overall: ***


As much as I want to give this movie a B+ or a B, just for making me laugh so much, I have to be fair.  The story is somewhat original, but at the same time there isn’t really much of a story there to begin with; it’s more like a snapshot of an ordinary day that just went terribly wrong, and this was the result.  The casting was definitely well chosen; I’m not sure if I would have necessarily taken out or included any other acts.  Re-watch factor is only average; I’d definitely watch this again if I was bored or my friends wanted to know what a good movie would be to just watch and not really have to think too hard while watching it, if you know what I mean.

I watched this movie without any of the special effects hoodoo that they try to sell you at the box office, like digital projection (DP), IMAX, or money-sucking 3D effects (which weren’t available for this film anyway, as far as I know).  Even without all of those extras, the picture was considerably clear, and the sound was great.  Then again, I suppose some of those factors are also influenced by the theater you’re watching it in.

All in all though, it definitely made for a good, relaxing night of entertainment, and I definitely went home after having a long week of working with a smile on my face.  For me, that’s what matters most when I come out of a comedy flick.

Believe it or not, I just can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to set aside to write for this blog; there’s a ton of topics I just haven’t gotten around to writing, and it’s not because I’ve been intentionally avoiding or neglecting them either–it’s mostly because my work and school schedule this fall is incredibly chaotic.

Hopefully I’ll have the time to write out those blog posts soon though.  Until next entry, everyone!

2 responses to “Tower Heist (2011) Review **WITH SPOILERS**

  1. Made me laugh and held my interest more than it should have, given how sloppy it is. Call it an acceptable bit of B-minus work from a C student. Good review. Check out mine when you get the chance.

    • Most definitely, you’ve got it brother! I just did this one real quick and made a few tweaks to my site in between work assignments, but as soon as I get home I’ll definitely read up your post–love your reviews as well. It’s nice to be able to discuss with another film junkie, hahaha.

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