The thieves in
What ultimately matters is entertainment value, of course, and on that count the movie is so relentlessly busy that it will hold your attention. Movie stars, tall buildings, piles of money and even the
Although the frantic story isn't nearly as funny as it asumes itself to be, it's loud and silly and diverting.
If it aspired to be a more accomplished movie, "Tower Heist" would have, er, built more solidly on its durable premise. The title tower is a swank residential New York skyscraper whose occupants include a wealthy investor, Arthur Shaw (
When the building's nice-guy manager, Josh Kovaks (
Josh and his colleagues hatch a plan to rob a safe in Shaw's apartment and thereby make far more than they lost. They expect to realize $20 million from the heist, which sure qualifies as a comfortable retirement account.
Although "Tower Heist" gets some mileage out of the class warfare aspect of this plot, it's sloppy about its procedural aspect. It can be nervously compelling in such a movie to watch how the thieves scope out the situation and then methodically go about putting their plan into action. The movie admittedly has plenty of sneaking around, but there are so many gaps in logic and also in the staging of the action that it's a mess.
Many of these noisy and violent scenes happen inside what's presumably a fully occupied building, but it's as if everything were being played out on a movie studio soundstage.
There's even a splashy scene involving an automobile pushed through a large window and now dangling over a street packed with parade watchers. Nobody looks up and shouts that there's a car overhead. Perhaps it's because the street-level onlookers are mesmerized by the parade balloons and also by a real-life cameo involving comedian
Although it's an intensely New York movie in terms of its locations, character types and attitudes, director
Josh is joined in his heist scheme by the doorman, Lester (
Also joining them in the heist scheme is Mr. Fitzhugh (
There's also Slide (
Not on their side but kinda sorta rooting for them is an
The scripted point is that Arthur Shaw is the epitome of slimy evil and everybody else is pretty nice. In a movie that makes no great demands on the viewer, it helps that there is only one clearly defined villain to hiss. Grade: C+