Movie Review: Tower Heist

Though it’s not as overtly anti-capitalist as the Hippies destroying city parks, banks and businesses, Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and featuring Eddie Murphy roundly mocks the self-made American businessman. But Alan Alda’s replicant of the swindler Bernie Madoff, a rich, white capitalist villain (Hollywood depicts no other type), dupes Stiller’s fancy residential manager and a doorman by their own greed, so at least by the end they bear some responsibility. Neither exactly a comedy nor a caper, Tower Heist sets up a roster of working stiff characters who are wronged by Stiller’s bad investment with the evil/rich/white capitalist. When a few are fired by the boss (Judd Hirsch, the only honest and moral character in the movie), they conspire to rob the evil/rich/white capitalist’s high-rise residence. Directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, both of which were nothing great but fine) is not completely offensive. Though one does grow tired of evil capitalist characterizations, Tower Heist hoists a few laughs, aside from some stinkers about a “gauntlet of lesbians”. Alda (M*A*S*H), Hirsch (Ordinary People), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) as a saucy Jamaican maid and Tea Leoni (Jurassic Park 3) as an FBI agent lift the mediocre plot (the others, including Stiller and Murphy, who’s barely in it, do not). And at least the counterfeit capitalist is shown living in a home with a portrait of a Communist dictator, which, since he steals people’s money, makes perfect sense.

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