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Two Jews on Film: ‘Tower Heist’ review

by Joan Alperin-Schwartz (video by Joan and John Schwartz)

November 4, 2011 | 2:02 pm

All I can say is…thank the Movie Gods for Eddie Murphy…because he single handedly put the funny in this new so-called, comedy entitled, ‘Tower Heist’, directed by Brett Ratner.

So here’s the story in a nut shell…

There’s this super sleazy, super rich, Wall Street dude named, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) - No, this film isn’t a fantasy. Sleezy Wall Street dudes really do exist.

Arthur occupies the Penthouse apartment of New York City’s tallest high rise called ‘The Tower’. Arthur is charming, friendly to the staff, loves to play chess with the help and would steal the last penny from his dying mother’s hand if given the chance.
Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is the over efficient GM of The Tower. He runs the place like a well oiled machine, making sure the staff caters to the wealthy tenants every whim. Josh and the workers at ‘The Tower’ are one big happy family….Until…

Arthur gets arrested for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme and swindling millions of people out of their life savings, including the entire staff of ‘The Tower.’

Story continues after the jump.

Seems Josh made the mistake of entrusting Arthur with their Pension Fund and now they’re all broke.

There’s only one thing left for Josh to do…TAKE REVENGE.

Here’s where Eddie Murphy comes in and here’s where the movie starts to get funny…Unfortunately, the film gets unfunny whenever Murphy is off screen.

Eddie plays Slide, a wise cracking career criminal. Josh enlists Slide, as well as…his brother-in-law, Charlie (Casey Affleck), the Conceirge at The Tower, Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe) a Jamacian maid who just happens to be an expert safe cracker, a mild mannered businessman, Mr. Sims (Matthew Broderick) who’s just lost his money, his job and his family, along with a few other Tower employees, to rob Shaw’s Penthouse where he has supposedly hidden $20 million dollars in cash.

Not a bad premise…

But a premise doesn’t make a film. ‘Tower Heist’ is not as funny as it could be nor is it as clever as you want it to be. It’s for that reason, the ‘Two Jews On Film didn’t give it a very high bagel score.

Check out our video to see what John thought about it. Hint: He gave it one less bagel than I did.

‘Tower Heist’ opens in theaters Friday, November 4, 2011. Wait for the DVD.

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