Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I wanted this movie to be good. I really did. It had a script that was on The Black List, it's a heist movie (written by the guy that wrote OCEAN'S 11, which explains a few things), it has Matthew Broderick in it and it also has Eddie Murphy. That last part was huge for me. With the exception of the SHREK movies (which kind of don't count), Murphy hasn't made a watchable movie since BOWFINGER way back in 1999.

And listen, I'll defend BOWFINGER until the end of time. That movie is hilarious and fantastic.

But back to Murphy. He's one of the best comedians of all time but he hasn't wanted to do anything other than shitty kids movies for the past decade and a half. Way back when Quentin Tarantino was talking about writing INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, he made a point of saying he was writing a part for Eddie Murphy. Then, the script changed and I have no idea if there was a part for him in the finished version, if he was offered one and turned it down or anything else. But that's beside the point. He was in TOWER HEIST and from the trailers, it looked like he might be back. So yeah, I wanted it to be good.

Well, wanted and expected are two different things.

Brett Ratner is the director of TOWER HEIST, so my actual expectations were very, very low. But still a guy can hope, right?

Bottom line is that TOWER HEIST is terrible. I thought Todd Phillips was a lazy filmmaker, but I totally forgot about Brett Ratner.

TOWER HEIST could have been a great movie, but Ratner just doesn't care about making it great. He cares about getting it done, hanging out with famous people in New York City and get paid millions of dollars to dick around with a camera and funny guys for a few months. But he definitely doesn't care about doing things right or, god forbid, making sure that parts of the plot make sense.

Because that's the real problem with TOWER HEIST: It doesn't make any fucking sense. There are huge issues with the basic premise that could have been worked out. It might have taken a few more passes at the script, but they could have found a clever way to make it all work. But they didn't.

That's why I'm not sure why it ended up on the Black List. Did Ratner and his crew change it so much that they just left huge chunks out figuring that no one would notice or care?

There are a few good things about the movie though, and that's every second of the maybe 25 minutes that Murphy is actually in the movie. Yep. You read that right. He's in the movie for maybe 25 minutes of the entire running time.

I was going to make a very spoiler-filled list of everything that didn't make sense in the movie, but Eric D. Snider already did that, which kind of saves me the trouble.

I'm going to say that TOWER HEIST was about 1/4 good, kinda funny and somewhat entertaining. It had all the ingredients to be great, but Ratner was just too lazy to actually do it.

Don't see it. It'll be one of those movies that's on FX or TBS or TNT 8 times a year in the near future. You can DVR it and fast forward through everything that doesn't have Eddie Murphy in it. Then you might actually think it's half decent.

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