Ever heard of Bernie Madoff? The scandal bearing his name served as a source of inspiration for the film “Tower Heist.”
Its release is also poised to tie in with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the accusations of corruption and greed being so prominent on Wall Street.
Ben Stiller and Matthew Broderick lead the cast, with Eddie Murphy also returning to a more mature film audience.
The movie begins with the FBI arresting Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), the penthouse billionaire who lives in The Tower, for running a Ponzi scheme. Among his victims are the employees of the Tower.
This sets off a chain of events that eventually leads Stiller’s character Josh Kovacs to concoct a master plan to rob the billionaire, recruiting’ Mr. Fitzhugh (Broderick), Charlie (Casey Afflecks), Enrique (Michael Pena) Odessa (Gabourney Sidibe), and Slide (Murphy), a criminal who was friends with Kovacs in daycare.
The goal is Shaw’s safety net that the FBI can’t find, which they believe is hidden somewhere in the penthouse. Slide puts the group through break in training, and the heist is scheduled for Thanksgiving, during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The movie was actually filmed during the parade.
When they get inside, the money is not in cash, but is instead in the form of a solid gold Ferrari, worth far more than $20 million at $65 million. The unrealistic way they get it out of the building makes it a nail biter, with many of the characters having to lean out windows 20 stories up to move the Ferrari to a secure location.
The film is a funnier, though less skillfully executed “Oceans” style movie, with an ensemble cast that would more likely be actual heist victims rather than the thieves. It is fast paced, which is what keeps it afloat for the 104-minute duration. “Tower Heist” is rated PG-13, mostly for safety, having few foul words and minimal sexual content.