Tower Heist (Brett Ratner, 2011)

What's it about? Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is the hard-working manager of The Tower, the most wealthy piece of real estate in America, the penthouse of which is owned by billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda). When Shaw is arrested for fraud, Josh and his co-workers (including concierge Casey Affleck and lift-operator Michael Peña) discover he has also gambled away their pension fund. So, together with petty thief Slide (Eddie Murphy) and former Wall Street trader Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), they resolve to get revenge by stealing the $20million they believe Shaw keeps hidden in a safe in the penthouse suite.

Is it any good? No. Not funny enough to be a good comedy, not clever enough to be a satisfying crime caper. It has an amiable enough set-up, but it soon becomes clear that the film has decided to eschew good jokes and characters in favour of gaping plot-holes, some of which stretch further than the human eye can see. By the time it reached its big (anti-)climax, I couldn't help wondering why some of the budget hadn't been used to buy the writers some new crayons to fill in the gaps in the story-telling. Ultimately, it wants to be as good as Ocean's Eleven, but never even gets close to those heights. If you think of Ocean's Eleven as like being at a party in the penthouse suite, with sexy, well -dressed guests, cool tunes and the finest champagne, Tower Heist is like sitting in your pants in a cramped flat on the first floor, drinking warm special brew with some blokes in anoraks and listening to James Blunt. It might seem okay at first, but you deserve better.

I don't trust you. What do others think? A general 'Meh' from an underwhelmed world. A few thought it was quite good, but those people are the same ones who like going to parties in anoraks and drinking special brew.

Anything else I should know? Younger readers might be surprised to know that Eddie Murphy was once funny. After I turned off Tower Heist, I happened to catch five minutes of Murphy's 1982 breakout hit 48 Hrs on TV, during which he delivered at least 3 funny lines. That's 17 more laughs than exists in the whole of Tower Heist.

What does the Fonz think? Rearrange the letters in the word 'Heist' to see what I think.

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