By Joshua Huffman, certified financial counselor
The Village Family Service Center
I find that movies often sink or swim based on my expectations. If my expectations are low, I am rarely disappointed. If my expectations are high, an otherwise decent movie might seem terrible. That being said, I’m still not sure what it says about a movie when I go in with mediocre expectations and come out with mediocre feelings. Such was the case with ‘Tower Heist.”
I was mildly hopeful that the cast and crew of “Tower Heist” could pull off the job. The movie is billed as a comedy with a great ensemble cast. It stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Mathew Broderick, Tea Leoni and a number of other semi-well known actors.
“Tower Heist” is yet another movie in a recent string of films set against the backdrop of the country’s economic meltdown. Ben Stiller plays the role of general manager of a high class skyscraper that is home to some of New York’s wealthiest citizens. Ben Stiller and his hardworking employees serve the elite, making sure their every want and need get met.
The top-floor penthouse is owned by Alan Alda’s character, a scummy investment banker, who is now under house arrest by the FBI for defrauding his clients and losing their money. Ben Stiller and his faithful crew just so happen to have invested the Tower’s pension fund with the lecherous investment banker and are now left with nothing.
The Tower’s crew of employees hatch a scheme to break into the top-floor penthouse and heist any riches that may be hidden there in an attempt to recoup their retirement fund. They enlist the help of a small-time crook, played by Eddie Murphy, to teach them how to be criminals and assist with the robbery.
The movie, while not laugh-out-loud funny, did offer a number of hearty chuckles. The movie’s funniest moments are experienced when Ben Stiller and the crew are planning and training to pull off a job that is clearly over their heads and out of their league. In one instance, as part of their training to be thieves, the crew is tasked by Eddie Murphy’s character to shoplift $50 worth of merchandise at the mall. Each member of the crew has a different and quite funny way of attempting this.
While the movie did have its funny moments, it largely fell flat. The relationship between Ben Stiller’s straight-laced building manager and Eddie Murphy’s small-time crook really did not gel. The only facet of the movie that really worked for me was the theme of blue collar service workers versus the upitty elite that see them as replaceable servants. I think most of have experienced that at some point in our lifetime.
As for the movie as a whole, it was mediocre at best and offered only mild amusement. I wouldn’t recommend running out to see it on the big screen but it should be worth the cost of a rental; assuming more than one will be watching it. Well, you have to get your money’s worth somehow. Maybe I just expected too much from the cast of commedians that rarely let me down. What did you think of the film?
“TOWER HEIST’S” FINANCIAL LESSON: If someone approaches you and says they can take your company’s pension fund and triple it…Run the other way!
As in life, when it comes to money, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.