Watch: Ben Stiller Hires Eddie Murphy To Help Him Steal $20 Million In Brett Ratner's 'Tower Heist'

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 28, 2011 4:42 AM
14 Comments
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Yep, this is a Brett Ratner film and honestly, if you swapped out Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy and put in Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, you would essentially have "Rush Hour 4." But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

The first trailer for "Tower Heist" has dropped and on paper, it sounds pretty good. In addition to the stars above, it boasts a pretty solid ensemble including Alan Alda, Téa Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Pena, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and Judd Hirsch in the story about an overworked manager of a luxury building (Stiller) who, along with other staff, loses their pensions to a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook (Alda). It so happens that the fraudster is being held under house arrest in the luxury penthouse apartment upstairs, and the manager and four cohorts figure a heist will make them whole. Okay, so a comedic spin on the current economic woes that have troubled the nation. We were still with it...until we watched this trailer, which feels sorely routine.

While it's nice enough to see Murphy finally doing a character and a part worth the talent he has squandered on a slew of family entertainment paycheck gigs, even in this trailer his schtick gets a little old. And it's a little troubling that the centerpiece sell -- a riff between Murphy and Stiller and the nickname "seizure boy" -- is just plain unfunny and too long. As for the rest of the cast, even in this nearly three minute trailer they all feel completely underutilized and it's kind of depressing to see Casey Affleck slumming it like this. The only bright spot is the closing bit between Sidibe and Murphy, but it's too little, too late.

Regardless, this thing will probably be a big hit -- it's exactly the kind of high calorie, totally empty, broad comedy audiences love. "Tower Heist" opens on November 4th.

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More: Films, Tower Heist

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14 Comments

  • ASFan | July 29, 2011 1:29 AMReply

    Here's a better question. What would you rather see? This or Jack and Jill the following week?

  • sam | July 28, 2011 11:46 AMReply

    i agree, Kevin. it looks like Ratner's amnesiac cool-aid production has been perfected.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | July 28, 2011 11:35 AMReply

    I would definitely rather see "The Wolverine." Have you guys forgotten this is a Brett Ratner movie?

  • Piotr | July 28, 2011 11:31 AMReply

    Come now. It doesn't look that bad. Which would you rather see, this or Hugh Jackman in another Wolverine movie? This or New Year's Eve? This or Armoured? As far as popcorn fair goes, there have been worse films to hit the multiplexes. This one has an interesting premise, an exciting cast, and a director that - while loathsome - admittedly does know how to shoot paint-by-the-numbers action. Even paint-by-the-numbers action is better than bad action.

  • Jimmy | July 28, 2011 8:18 AMReply

    "there’s nothing wrong with enjoying what is sure to be a good, entertaining comedy genre flick AND the pretentious Criterion movies on your shelf."

    Enjoying a classic, foreign or b/w movie doesn't make the viewer pretentious, @blargo, so maybe chill out a bit.

    The concept for TOWER HEIST is great. Perfect for an ambitious black comedy with a variety of tones. So why'd they hire Ratner?

  • styles | July 28, 2011 6:43 AMReply

    total junk

  • Grunty Handjobs | July 28, 2011 5:57 AMReply

    i mean it looks fairly bland, but i will admit I was slightly excited at the possibility of Eddie Murphy playing that character hard as fuck, with a balls to the wall R, then i realized that they're going to make it pg-13 and further dilute the potential. we'll see. it might be dipshit fun for a holiday release. sometimes middle america needs to laugh.

  • blargo | July 28, 2011 5:56 AMReply

    @cirkusfolk
    And where exactly will you be watching said tribute from? Your couch or the almighty horse you're sitting on right now?

    You know, there's nothing wrong with enjoying what is sure to be a good, entertaining comedy genre flick AND the pretentious Criterion movies on your shelf.

  • Anna | July 28, 2011 5:56 AMReply

    Doesn't look too bad. Good cast and Eddie Murphy actually looks funny in this. Any film that might return Murphy to his former funny days with no fat suit gets my interest.

  • Alex | July 28, 2011 5:52 AMReply

    I laughed at Broderick's delivery of "I'm gonna die." Murphy's part feels like something J. B. Smoove was meant to play, but J.B. was busy filming Curb or something, so they had to settle for someone who is out of their element.

  • cirkusfolk | July 28, 2011 5:37 AMReply

    @blargo
    And when Murphy and Stiller die, and clips from this film (not to mention others) are played in some sort of tribute montage, the sound of my laughter will be loud enough for them to hear it in the afterlife...so there.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | July 28, 2011 5:29 AMReply

    Noah Baumbach did punch up work for Ben Stiller's character. That's it.

  • Sean | July 28, 2011 5:27 AMReply

    Isn't Baumbach somehow part of this? Didn't he do a first draft or something like that?
    As for the trailer...meh. Looks like a typical Ratner film. Pena looks to somewhat be channeling a toned down version of his character for Observe and Report.

  • blargo | July 28, 2011 5:08 AMReply

    It's going to make a boatload of money and when it does, the sound of Eddie Murphy (this will be the start of his comeback), Brett Ratner and Stiller's laughter is going to drown out your pretension.

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