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Josh Kovaks is the manager of a high-rise condominium in New York. He is close to all the tenants, especially financier Arthur Shaw. One day Shaw is arrested by the FBI for fraud. Josh thinks it's a misunderstanding that can be resolved, but later he learns that the employees' pension fund - which he asked Shaw to handle - is gone. When one of the employees tries to kill himself, Josh's views of Shaw change. He goes to see him and loses his temper, and his job. The FBI agent in charge tells him that Shaw might walk, and recovering the pension fund is unlikely. She tells him that it's been rumored that Shaw has $20 million lying around if he needs it in a hurry. Josh thinks he knows where it is, so with two other fired employees and an evicted tenant, they set out to get into Shaw's penthouse to get the money. But they realize they need the assistance of someone who knows how to steal, so Josh asks an old acquaintance named Slide who he knows is a thief to help them. Written by
The Ferrari Lusso used in many of the scenes is actually a heavily modified Volvo 1800. 2 were fabricated. Corroboration from the builder found on FerrariChat: "Hi, I'm Erich Schultz. I built the two replica Lussos for Tower Heist. I was hired by Ralph Lucci of Automobile Film Club of America, based in New York to do the job. Brett Ratner, the film's director wanted the job done by Ted Moser of Picture Car Warehouse in LA. Ted and I are friends so I told Ralph I would do the job with Ted and act as the project manager. Initially, we were given just seven weeks from getting the job to the final delivery date for two complete cars. I thought that this time frame was unrealistic and I needed ten weeks. We ended up taking eight and a half weeks from start to finish to build them. The decision to build onto a Volvo P1800 platform was mine. I noticed the similarity between the Lusso's windshield, A-pillar, and side windows with the P1800, which incidentally was designed in Italy. I used the P1800 as a platform for the Lusso mold plug. With the exception of the windshield frame, every surface and the overall dimensions of the P1800 were changed with metal work, MDF, urethane foam, fiberglass, and Bondo to transform it into a facsimile of the Lusso. Our replica is not identical in any way. We had to settle for very close. We did not have access to a real Lusso to get measurements or make plans or templates. I had a photo file of pictures that were downloaded from the internet and had to approximate everything by trying to scale dimensions from those photos." See more »
When Ms. Iovenko receives the front grill of the Ferrari, it has a different shape from the grill when it is on the car. When seen on the car, the grill has 12 vertical bars and 5 horizontal. The one she receives has 10 verticals and 3 horizontals. See more »
Today I teach you how to pick a lock with a bobby pin! Here's your bobby pin, here's your bobby pin, and here's your punk-ass bobby pin! You unlock the door, or you gonna freeze to death! I'm gonna be inside having sex wih Rita!
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Everyone's excited for the new Brett Ratner movie, right? Jonesing for another marginal action-comedy in the vein of Rush Hour 2? You're in luck! Tower Heist fits the bill, and despite its allusions to 2011 Wall Street turmoil, the familiar flick feels very much of that era. The Rat-man's latest is cookie-cutter entertainment at its most transient, but everyone likes cookies. Right?
In Tower Heist, Ben Stiller plays subservient chief of staff at a ritzy Central Park apartment complex but when a tenant (Alan Alda) swindles him and his workforce out of their pensions, it's no more Mr. Nice Josh. He masterminds a robbery with the help of his concierge (Casey Affleck), an elevator operator (Michael Peña), a downtrodden former resident (Matthew Broderick), and a Jamaican cleaning woman (Gabourey Sidibe). Unschooled as they are in the art of the steal, Josh also employs the aid of petty criminal "Slide," (Eddie Murphy) who gives the crew a crash course in crime.
The cast of Tower Heist, anchored by Stiller, Alda, and the under-appreciated 'other' Affleck, is its greatest asset. Gabourey Sidibe pulls a Melissa McCarthy in a similar big girl supporting role, and as for Eddie Murphy it's good to know that there's still a funny guy beneath the Norbit prosthetics. Granted, nobody's working with AAA material here, but their comic chemistry makes for some laugh out loud moments.
Conceived and written by Ted Griffin of Ocean's Eleven and Matchstick Men, Tower Heist strictly adheres to caper convention. Assemble the team, unfurl the plan, set said plan into motion, and wait for it all to come undone. It's a tried and true formula, which is ironic considering the risk its characters incur. There's even a heavy-handed chess metaphor about sacrificing one's Queen, but Griffin is a decidedly defensive player.
Then there's the Rat-factor. Poor Brett's an easy guy to hate. Called "Hollywood's Ad Impresario" by Businessweek, he's the dude who wants to make a Guitar Hero movie. He's a purely commercial filmmaker who's helmed competent but inferior follow-ups to beloved franchises like X-Men and Silence of the Lambs. And let's face it, he's kind of ugly. With Tower Heist, the director isn't flexing any artistic muscles, but he's got the mechanics down pat.
Plus, he's got the good sense to hire performers who probably don't need much direction. Guys like Stiller, Murphy, and Broderick are so well practiced that they're entertaining even when they're resting on their laurels. Similarly, Ratner's worked with cinematographer Dante Spinotti enough times to not have to concern himself with the visual aspects of filmmaking. Though the credits suggest otherwise, Ratner's role is nearer to producer than director.
Consequently, Tower Heist feels impersonal and even a bit disingenuous. After all, what could Brett Ratner, the privileged son of a Miami socialite turned blockbuster director, have in common with the working stiffs he portrays? It's easy to hate Ratner, but unfair to channel that negative energy at his work. With a good cast and decent material, Tower Heist is an amusing, inconsequential diversion that entertains and evaporates in the span of 100 minutes. And with a family friendly PG-13 rating, this cookie-cutter action-comedy is poised to make loads of dough.
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