Tower Heist: Movie Review
How far would you go to get all the money you ever wanted?
Introducing Tower Heist
There may be nothing better to do on a rainy Wednesday night than watch a good heist movie. Except, of course, watching a funny heist movie.
‘Tower Heist’, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, is both humorous and full of the plotting and dramatic hangings-out-of-windows that make heist movies so much fun to watch. The plot is complicated (as in all movies of this genre) involving the employees of a luxury apartment building in New York who are cheated out of their pensions after one of the richest inhabitants of The Tower, Arthur Shaw, is arrested for running a fraudulent investment scheme. Subsequently, the building manager Josh Kovacs and his co-workers and friends plan and attempt to steal $20 million from Shaw while he is under house arrest, resulting in much hilarity and a few really clever twists. They are assisted by a criminal, Slide (played by Eddie Murphy), who has just been released on bail. The generally witty script is complemented by excellent set design, particularly in Shaw’s penthouse apartment, and an appropriately dynamic and energetic soundtrack. The movie does have many moments that left me thinking ‘Yeah right, that could never happen!’, but if you can suspend your disbelief and just sit back and enjoy it as the plotting and heist get wilder and wilder, then this movie is a lot of fun.
Money, Money, Money
Throughout the movie, money is incredibly important to all characters, not just Arthur Shaw. Shaw does appear to be the person most affected by money, and he frequently treats the staff of The Tower like they exist simply to serve him, because he has so much money. He says at one point, ‘You people are working stiffs, clock-punchers. Easily replaced.’
Despite Shaw being the obvious ‘money-obsessed’ character, even the ‘good guys’ resort to crime to get the money they want, though the way they are juxtaposed with Shaw makes them seem less criminal than they actually are! They’re also resorting to crime to get revenge on the person who took their money, showing exactly how much power money can have over people. 1 Timothy 6:10 says ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.’ Of course, the characters in ‘Tower Heist’ aren’t really in danger of ‘wandering from the faith’, seeing as they don’t have one, but this movie can serve as a great reminder of how easily money can have power over us. Although the evil in ‘Tower Heist’ seems light-hearted (and made me giggle quite a bit), it’s important to remember that money, though it seems important, is actually not so important when we remember that, as it says in Matthew 6:24, ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.’
The final word
‘Tower Heist’ is lots of fun, and acts as a great reminder of the power of money over people. The script-writing is good, with plenty of effective one-liners, and there are some very dramatic moments, including someone dangling out of an apartment window hundreds of metres up in the air. The real stand-out in this film is the acting, with Eddie Murphy’s character Slide very nearly stealing the show, though it would have been nice to see him in a few more scenes and introduced earlier in the action. Ben Stiller is also strong, and the supporting cast offers a few laughs. Disappointingly, the funniest scenes, occurring when Josh and his friends are planning the heist, make up only a small portion of the movie, but overall this was a clever and satisfying movie with plenty of amusing moments.