An all-star cast of Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda lead this action-comedy about a group of hotel workers whose retirement funds are stolen by a shady investor. When they realize that he may use his money and influence to get off scot-free, they decide to get even with him the only way they know how.
Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is a building manager for The Tower, an elite condo high rise in Manhattan. They cater to very wealthy residents and strive to provide attentive and devoted service. His staff are many, but include father-to-be concierge Charlie (Casey Affleck), new bellhop Dev'Reaux (Michael Pena), and Jamaican immigrant maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe). One day they discover that one of their premier residents - investment mogul Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) - has gone the way of Bernie Madoff, and "madoff" with the retirement accounts he was managing for the employees of The Tower. The group soon realizes that regardless of whether he is charged or manages to get off, they'll have lost their life savings. However, they suspect that Shaw actually still has the money, just squirreled away somewhere in his posh Tower loft. By joining up with disgruntled resident Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick) and the only pseudo-thief any of them knows (Eddie Murphy), the group plans a heist to get their money back. At The Tower. A Tower Heist, if you will.
Problems with the film start early on, primarily with the generic nature of the characters. We have the main guy (Stiller) who for years has faithfully served his company, just to ultimately get canned for trying to do the right thing. We have the old guy, who's just this close to finally being able to retire and enjoy his golden years. We have the expectant father (Affleck) who'd love to help, but hey, with a baby on the way, he's got to think about his family first. I could keep going, but basically they've made the 7-layer dip of cliches.
And cliches can still be okay - or at least forgivable - in a comedy, if you actually make things funny. And on off moments, Tower Heist delivers a little bit of that as well. But everything feels so tired. The plot is tired, the dialogue is tired, and even the actors look tired a lot of the time. Straight from the studio's auto-generated Movie Machine, this time the machine spit out Generic Comic-Action Plot #26 - the heist movie where you're supposed to root for shat-upon working men (and ladies). So that's what they made, because it had been a few years and it was time to put ole #26 back in rotation. They tried to tweak the formula ever so slightly by infusing some leftover "Occupy Wall Street" angst, but it's a little too little.