November 2011 Archives
If Tower Heist feels a lot like Ocean's Fourteen, that's not entirely accidental. After all, both this movie and the Ocean's pictures involve an all-star crew of crooks attempting to rip off a wealthy mark that has wronged them. Beyond that, the movies share a screenwriter (Ted Griffin, who wrote Ocean's Eleven, though not the sequels) and a co-star (Casey Affleck). But here's the way to tell them apart: the Ocean's adventures were directed by Steven Soderbergh, while Tower Heist is a Brett Ratner joint. That means that the jazzy, inventive visual palette that Soderbergh brought to his movies has been replaced by a workmanlike style that's professional without being particularly interesting. The heist at the center of Tower Heist also pales in comparison to the elaborate schemes that Danny Ocean and his accomplices pulled off. Their plans were ridiculous enough to be believable -- this one is just ridiculous. Still, thanks largely to the cast (some of them anyway), Tower Heist isn't the botch that Ratner's last comic thriller, After the Sunset, was. It's a serviceable bit of studio fluff that keeps your eyes, if not your brain, occupied for 100 minutes. (Too bad the studio didn't follow through on its initial plans to release the film on VOD three weeks into its theatrical run; the movie will likely play much better at home on your TV screen than in the theater.) Here's how the individual members of this crew rate:
One of these guys is crazy, the other is stupid and neither is particularly good at love.