Universal Pictures has released a trailer for their upcoming release Tower Heist which stars Ben Stiller as a hotel manager who decides to rip off the Bernie Madoff figure (Alan Alda) who Ponzied him and his coworkers out of millions of dollars. Here are five observations about the trailer.
Eddie Murphy is in an adult comedy again. After years of only putting in appearances in awful kiddie fare like Meet Dave and Imagine That, Murphy is once again acting in a comedy with the aid of garish fat suit. While his stock has fallen considerably after almost two decades of substandard movies, he’s still one of the funniest men alive when he wants to be.
The film has a solid supporting cast.Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Matthew Broderick (The Producers) and Michael Pena (Observe & Report) are all very good secondary players. Broderick and Pena always add a lot to whatever films they’re in and Affleck, while not being someone you’d think of for strong comedic performances, was great in the Ocean’s films and looks to be a good straight man for Stiller.
The film is directed by Rush Hour’s Brett Ratner. To date, Ratner has only directed one good film (Red Dragon) and seven bad ones (the rest of his filmography) and the odds are overwhelming in favor of the film being pretty terrible even though it has such a quality cast and a script co-written by Ocean’s 11 screenwriter Ted Griffin. This streak of terrible can be ascribed to Ratner’s tendency to bring out the worst over the top qualities in his actors without having the ability to dial back the excess in the editing room.
The film was original conceived as an all-black Ocean’s 11.Murphy was also going to be in the project as the ex-con character who teaches the rest of the cast who steal but Stiller’s role was originally intended for Chris Rock. While the Stiller for Rock swap out isn’t a big deal since Stiller is a much better comedic actor than Rock, just imagine the alternate universe where this film was made with Stiller delivering the dialogue that was intended for Rock. Imagine and lament.
Tower Heistis going to be part of a VOD experiment by Universal.After three week of theatrical release, the film will be available on Comcast’s video-on-demand service in Portland and Atlanta for $59.99. As a result, Cinemark Theaters has announced they will not exhibit Tower Heist if Universal goes ahead with their experiment.
Tower Heist will be released to Cleveland area cinemas on November 4th, 2012.
Mario blogs regularly at A Polemic Killer Room.