Reporting Terri Lee Sylvester
NOVI (WWJ) – Get ready to laugh and laugh — and laugh some more — if you’re going to check out the new flick “Tower Heist.” Especially when Eddie Murphy steps in.
Murphy stars as a petty thief by the name of Slide. His services are enlisted by Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller), the manager of one of the most luxurious and well-secured residences in New York City known as The Tower. Kovaks and his amateur crew of blue-collar workers decide to go after billionaire Wall Street swindler Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) who stiffed them out of their hard-earned pensions.
Slide takes his “job” seriously. And that’s where a lot of the fun starts. After Kovaks bails Slide out of jail, the interaction between the two makes for some pretty funny stuff. Murphy jumped at the chance to return to familiar ground.
“The theme of the film, with the workers being taken advantage of by the rich folks and then turning the tables, is timeless,” Murphy said. “One of my earliest movies, Trading Places, was like that. Those themes work forever. It was fun for me to work on because I hadn’t done a role like that in a while. I’ve done a lot of family movies, and I’ve done a lot of projects in which the characters were not ‘street-y’ guys. There was a freshness to this.”
And make no mistake about it: this is not your run-of-the-mill caper flick. Instead of featuring professional thieves, Oscar(R)-winning producer Brian Grazer says Murphy (who originally pitched the idea) wanted to “follow a group of disgruntled employees in a building like the Trump Tower who seize their chance and plan a robbery.”
With all that’s been going on in recent years on Wall Street, the timing of this project couldn’t be any better. Murphy originally pitched the idea behind “Tower Heist” five years ago, which is how long it took to make it to the big screen. Director Brett Ratner says “It’s about the upstairs and the downstairs and working-class, blue-collar workers just trying to get by who were robbed. They’re taking it back from not just the rich, but the corrupt rich. That’s why you’re cheering for and rooting for these characters. You want them to win.”
And if the audience’s applause is any indication, Ratner is absolutely right.
Tower Heist is rated PG-13.
Check out the photo gallery below and the trailer here.
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