By Gabriel Stoffa
Ames247 Staff Writer
Finally, a movie starring Eddie Murphy where he is laugh-out-loud funny when not playing a donkey.
That’s right, “Tower Heist” is not another of those comedies with only a few good laughs from a couple of stars. It is a good time with a range of star power letting loose with a knee-slapping good time.
Murphy has this strange situation akin to Adam Sandler: They were both amazingly funny back when they were on “Saturday Night Live” and for their first few movies, then they became lost in Hollywood junk, making one “good” movie for every three “bad.”
Murphy aside, the rest of the cast is full of laughs. Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe and Alan Alda make for many excellent awkward situations, snide comments and general jokes throughout the film. Stiller and Broderick maintain their brands of funny without missing a beat, while Leoni and Affleck continue to be underused by Hollywood talents. Sidibe steps into the comedy well, delivering an accent that is good for a few giggles. And Alda, oh Alda, well, he is always awesome and makes for a nice antagonist.
The plot is ludicrous, and looking too much beyond the surface of the plan to steal money in an “Ocean’s Eleven“-esque manner reveals enough problems or holes to destroy any realism to the story. But thankfully, everything runs in the funny direction far enough to make what could be glaring oversights into mere suspensions of disbelief moments.
The added kick of the poorer folks stealing from the wealthy — enter the 99 percent versus 1 percent battle on Wall Street — makes “Tower Heist” into not just some funny jokes but some appealing comedy experience at the expense of the over-privileged.
Maybe it is just the emergence of Murphy in a role that makes me laugh like I used to when watching “Beverly Hills Cop,” or maybe it is because I love ensemble casts, but “Tower Heist” is a movie I can recommend watching for a good time.
I hesitate to advise anything beyond a matinee-price ticket as despite the laughs, it still isn’t a great movie. So, watch it in a theater if you have an afternoon off, but make certain to see it even if you do decide to wait until it appears in a Redbox cue for a reasonable price.