In Tower Heist, the latest action-comedy from Brett Ratner, Ben Stiller plays the dedicated chief of staff at an extremely fancy Manhattan apartment building (think Hector Elizando in Pretty Woman, or Michael J. Fox in For Love of Money) known as the Tower. This being a Brett Ratner movie, that this name immediately calls to mind the Twin Towers is both entirely intentional and totally meaningless. Instead, Ratner's focused on another story ripped from the headlines. Alan Alda plays Arthur Shaw, the building's richest resident and a Bernie Madoff stand-in, a slick thief and liar who has defrauded thousands, including the building's staff, by wiping out their pension fund. Stiller, bent on revenge, concocts a scheme to relieve Shaw of the $20 million he must be hiding; assembles a team that includes Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Téa Leoni, and a Caribbean-accented Gabourey Sidibe; and then goes to find the one guy who can actually help him pull it off: Eddie Murphy. Chris Tucker became famous in Ratner's Rush Hour for more or less imitating Murphy. In this trailer, it appears Murphy is now imitating Tucker — imitating him all amped-up, antic energy all the time. (Back in 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop, there were some quieter beats in Murphy's repertoire.) Stiller and Murphy are only four years apart in age — their periods of fame just peaked at totally different times — and theirs is a comedic pairing that just might work, so long as Stiller is playing the tightly wound straight man. But if there's ever a scene in which Stiller unwinds, which is pretty much a staple of all Ben Stiller films, there will be so much angry scenery chewing between the two of them one fears entire movie theaters may be digested.
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
HGTV Is a Never-ending Fantasy Loop. Look Deeper, and It Gets Pretty Ugly.
The 100 Hardest Video-Game Bosses, Ranked
The Saddest Moment in Lady Gaga’s Netflix Doc Involves Taylor Kinney
Every Star Trek TV Show, Ranked
Will I Hate Mother!? A Serious Quiz
What’s New on Netflix: September 2017
Let’s Talk About That Scene in Mother!
What’s Leaving Netflix: October 2017
Meghan Markle’s Ex-Husband Is Making a TV Show About a Woman Moving On With a British Prince, Taking Petty to New Levels
Report: Kylie Jenner Pregnant
Latest News from VultureFuller House Creator Admits Defeat in Years-Long Quest to Get the Olsen Twins on the Show
“They just don’t seem interested in coming.”Soul Legend Charles Bradley Dead at 68
The singer was battling cancer over the past year.Mike Schur Solidifies His ‘King of NBC Comedy’ Status With Two More Pilots
When does this man have time to sleep.We Wouldn’t Mind Spending 25 Years With Kyle MacLachlan in The Late Late Show’s Red Room
Enunciate your words, damnit!Miss Blair, Dorota Isn’t Amused That She Didn’t Turn Out to Be Gossip Girl
“I felt like nobody knew who Gossip Girl was going to be till the day we did it.”Honestly, Interviewing With SNL’s Lorne Michaels Sounds Like a Surprisingly Chill Experience
Colin Jost didn’t do himself any favors.Matthew Vaughn Gave the Kingsman: The Golden Circle Actors Altitude Sickness
The director of the spy sequel reveals the hardest scenes to nail.Mel Brooks Thinks Blazing Saddles Never Could Have Been Made in Today’s ‘Stupidly Politically Correct’ Climate
“Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”Seth Meyers Says If You Can’t Connect the Dots When It Comes to Russia, It’s Because They’ve Basically Fused Into One Giant Dot
With North Korea and repealing Obamacare grabbing the limelight, it’s easy to forget there’s an investigation bubbling on the back burner.Theater Review: KPOP Is Gangnam Style With Substance Beneath
Under the glam, it’s a discomfiting looks at the struggles faced by Asian artists.
“He is going to do this privately and focus all his attention on being the best person and performer possible.”Watch The Trailer for Adaptation of Stephen King’s Novella 1922
King is going for a seasonal hat trick at the movies.Thanks to Its Stars, Stronger Is Anything But Your Standard Overcoming-the-Odds Tearjerker
Though Gyllenhaal deserves any accolades the film brings him, Maslany’s performance was the one that floored me.Report: Kylie Jenner Pregnant
According to TMZ and “Page Six.”Brace Yourself and Your Sink for the Mother! Opera
Let’s consider the possibilities!The Saddest Moment in Lady Gaga’s Netflix Doc Involves Taylor Kinney
“Well, nothin’ like getting flowers from your ex-fiancé on the day of the Super Bowl.”The 12 Essential 30 Rock Episodes to Watch Before It Leaves Netflix
Tina Fey’s groundbreaking sitcom leaves Netflix on October 1.Which Famous Athletes Are Really Into Jim Carrey’s Art?
Carrey claims sports stars are fans of his work.What 6 Seasons of Gossip Girl Posters Tell Us About the Show
Who could possibly forget that “OMFG” campaign?Wonderful Wonderful Is a Strong Killers Album, But It’s Not a Comeback
The most illuminating songs are the ones that deal with Brandon Flowers’s real-life worries.