It’s been a long time since Eddie Murphy was funny as an actor (as a voice-actor, he did okay. See Shrek). Dr. Doolittle, Norbit, The Nutty Professor… In each and everyone of them, he wasn’t funny. But that’s what he’s supposed to be as a comedian/actor; funny. The same goes for Ben Stiller. Tropic Thunder was allright, but movies like Night at the Museum 2, the ‘Meet the Parents’-trilogy, they where all swing and misses. If they would team up, what would you get?
The answer is, a mildly entertaining movie. At least, that was what I thought of Tower Heist, which features them together, alongside Casey Affleck (little brother of Ben) and Matthew Broderick. Tower Heist goes where many movie has gone before. Ocean’s Eleven breathed new life into the genre of impossible heists. Ocean’s Twelve almost destroyed it, but Thirteen made it a little bit better.
The movie is a lot like Fun with Dick and Jane, which I enjoyed a lot, mixed with Ocean’s Thirteen. Ben Stiller is responsible for losing the pension-money of all his subordinates at a luxury appartments building. In order to put things right, he contacts small-time criminal Eddie Murphy. The two never really reach a lot of chemistry, which makes a lot of jokes simply not funny.
The best performance is either by Casey Affleck, who plays a dim-witted employee of Stiller, or Alan Alda, who shines as a massive prick. The latter is very convincing as a big time investor, which role could be based on Bernie Madoff.
All in all, the movie is entertaining. I almost went to the cinema to watch this movie, but if I had went, I would’ve wanted my money back. It’s not that bad, it’s just not worth my money. The heist itself is fairly unpredictable, which is a plus. The ending though, is somewhat disappointing (no further spoilers here). It’s good if you want to see a movie which you haven’t seen yet, but it’s not worth watching a second time. When the element of surprise is gone, you’re left with a shallow movie which doesn’t fulfill it’s promise with the great cast it has.