ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Tower Heist ★★★
Control freak Ben Stiller is generally at his best when either writing, directing or producing vehicles for himself — ideally all three (Reality Bites, The Cable Guy, Zoolander, Tropic Thunder). However, Tower Heist, a vertiginous heist caper co-produced by co-star Eddie Murphy and directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour and its sequels), is a robust enough property to allow him to shine as an actor for hire. Here he’s the forelock-tugging manager of a luxury New York high-rise, who leads fellow disgruntled employees to steal a stash of cash from Ponzi-scheme swindler Alan Alda, using all their know-how from invisibly maintaining the building. Casey Affleck’s concierge, Michael Pena’s lift operator and Gabourey Sidibe’s maid stand out, while Murphy plays the crook hired to help them. Inventive, silly, thrilling, the best bits involve high-wire stunts that will have vertigo sufferers clutching the armrests. It’s reminiscent of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but needs a better ending.
Mark Wahlberg attempts to leave his life of crime behind, until he is forced back into it to save his family. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
George of the Jungle ★★★
The Tarzan movies get an affectionate send-up, with Brendan Fraser sporting the loincloth and John Cleese giving good voice as an ape called Ape.
Space Cowboys ★★★
Ever wondered about the effects of zero gravity on wrinkles? Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones blast off in an enjoyably silly caper.
James McAvoy plays against type here as the drug-addled bipolar cop conceived by Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh. Not for the fainthearted.
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