The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie
Nobody has ever said “The new Brett Ratner film is out; we must sojourn to the theater and attend the first screening!” Mostly because fans of Brett Ratner a) don’t exist, and b) wouldn’t be the type of people who could form coherent sentences if they did exist. He has no visual style, no interest in developing one, and would be terrible at it if he tried.
So now that we’ve settled that Tower Heist is visually uninteresting we can move on to the story, which is uninspired. Every story beat has been hit before but this movie brings nothing new to the table. At least with Star Wars, the movie made us feel like we were watching a tried-and-true formula for the first time. Tower Heist gives us the conventional heist film… again.
I am finished calling attention to how mediocre most of the ingredients of this movie are. Now I can discuss what works: the actors. Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Gabourey Sidibe, and Alan Alda are all reasons to watch this movie. Their performances are not great, but everybody is clearly having a great time in this movie, and it can’t be argued that Eddie Murphy is a funny man.
There is nothing original here, but it wasn’t unentertaining, and it was a pleasant diversion.