Yep, this is a Brett Ratner film and honestly, if you swapped out Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy and put in Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, you would essentially have “Rush Hour 4.” But we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves.
The first trailer for “Tower Heist” has dropped and on paper, it sounds pretty good. In addition to the stars above, it boasts a pretty solid ensemble including Alan Alda, Téa Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Pena, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and Judd Hirsch in the story about an overworked manager of a luxury building (Stiller) who, along with other staff, loses their pensions to a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook (Alda). It so happens that the fraudster is being held under house arrest in the luxury penthouse apartment upstairs, and the manager and four cohorts figure a heist will make them whole. Okay, so a comedic spin on the current economic woes that have troubled the nation. We were still with it…until we watched this trailer, which feels sorely routine.
While it’s nice enough to see Murphy finally doing a character and a part worth the talent he has squandered on a slew of family entertainment paycheck gigs, even in this trailer his schtick gets a little old. And it’s a little troubling that the centerpiece sell — a riff between Murphy and Stiller and the nickname “seizure boy” — is just plain unfunny and too long. As for the rest of the cast, even in this nearly three minute trailer they all feel completely underutilized and it’s kind of depressing to see Casey Affleck slumming it like this. The only bright spot is the closing bit between Sidibe and Murphy, but it’s too little, too late.
Regardless, this thing will probably be a big hit — it’s exactly the kind of high calorie, totally empty, broad comedy audiences love. “Tower Heist” opens on November 4th.