Tower Heist a limp caper

Eddie Murphy rediscovers what made him funny, but there's not much else to recommend it

(image-1) A big-budget, mindless blockbuster entertainment, Brett Ratner’s (Rush Hour, The Red Dragon) Tower Heist doesn’t quite hit the mark. When businessman Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) defrauds the employees of the swanky high-rise he calls home, ex-building manager Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) leads a robbery of Shaw’s apartment with the aid of a team of co-defrauded friends (Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck) and seasoned crook, Slide (Eddie Murphy). For a comedic caper flick, it’s exceedingly tame. Even FBI agent Claire Denham (Téa Leoni) is a little soft, nursing a wee crush on Kovacs. Murphy, who’s all too scarce at first, devours the funny, hamming it up while the others pale in comparison. Maybe the purported original concept, Murphy’s idea of an all-black comedian cast who robs Trump Tower, would have made for riper comedy. As it is, Tower Heist is a little stale.

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