In a move we would ascribe to “shame” were it not for its subject, Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist—the director’s long-developing dream of a “black Ocean’s Eleven”—has once again recruited Eddie Murphy, who was originally set to head an ensemble of top African-American comedians until Ratner decided that Murphy’s role would be “perfect” for Ben Stiller, in the sense that one of those actors' movies still make money, which is perfect for guys who like making money off of movies. It’s not clear yet how Murphy fits into this new version of the film, which finds Stiller leading a group of disgruntled maintenance workers in an elaborate robbery of a Bernie Madoff-style crook (to be played by Alan Alda). But Murphy’s participation suggests that Ratner is out to combine some of the street-smart sass he initially envisioned with the “heart to go with the humor” that he cited as his reason for bringing in Stiller, which all but ensures Tower Heist will be poignant, emotionally satisfying, and loud. Also, if you go see it, you'll be casting an implicit vote for Beverly Hills Cop IV. Just making sure you're aware of that.

Advertisement