TMG Scale 7.5 P Factor 0.0 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Mathew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena
First and foremost, excellent all-star casting for a trivial little comedy film. I was thrilled to see Eddie Murphy back in action as well as my long time favorite Tea Leoni. When you add heavy weight stars like Alan Alda, Mathew Broderick and one of the best actors of our time, Casey Affleck to the equation, it’s the swiss watch of comedic timing. TMG has never been a big fan of Ben Stiller, but the guy makes tons of money for Hollywood producers. Charlie Sheen would have been perfect for the role. Stiller is the food equivalent to a great plate of liver and onions—millions swear by them, but they are just not for me.
Josh Kovacs (Stiller) is the manager extraordinaire for an uber rich New York apartment building. (Think Michael J. Fox in For Love or Money back in 1993.) Arthur Shaw (Alda) is a Bernie Madoff type living in the Penthouse. Everyone entrusts their pensions and savings to Shaw until he is suddenly indicted and arrested by FBI agent Claire Denham (Leoni). Josh teams up with Charlie the desk clerk (Affleck) and the soon to be evicted Wall Street drop out Mr. Fitzhugh (Broderick) to get revenge on the unrepentant Arthur Shaw. Alda almost plays the character to the evil level of Richard Fuld of the former Lehman Brothers. (I am pretty sure Fuld is exactly what Satan himself looks and acts like—married of course to someone who looks and acts much like Nancy Pelosi….sorry TMG can never resist such temptation) The comedy is set.
Josh and his band of blundering apartment staff need serious help in learning the craft of thievery. So, Josh turns to a wisecracking, street numskull named Slide (Murphy) whom he recently saw being hauled off to jail. Murphy is pretty much in his reprise role of Billy Ray Valentine from Trading Places (1983). This is fine because TMG never got enough of Billy Ray and though it has been twenty eight years, Murphy still looks and acts the part. The rest is just pure fun. Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson could only have played the role better but both were busy these past few months campaigning for Herman Cain for President.
Is this the greatest comedy of the year? No. That title yet belongs to Bridesmaids. Go see Tower Heist tonight. You will laugh and enjoy the heist!