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.
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