First Hit: There are some very strong funny laughs in this totally improbable story.
From the beginning of the film, there are strong laughs, out loud laughs.
Maybe it helped that the woman behind me was fully engaged in her very out-loud amusing laugh at many of the situations. But like her, at times, I found some of this film very funny.
Arthur Shaw (played by Alan Alda) is a Bernie Madoff type character who has been accused of inappropriate use of investor money. “The Towers” where he lives in the penthouse suite which has his pool on the roof and a hundred dollar bill painted on the bottom.
“The Towers” (looking like Trump Tower), has a staff that is there to fully serve the residents. The manager is Josh Kovacs (played by Ben Stiller) who has a staff of willing workers including Charlie (played by Casey Affleck) the concierge, Lester (played by Stephen Henderson) the doorman, and Odessa (played by Gabourey Sidibe) as a chambermaid.
There is also a resident named Mr. Fitzhugh (played by Matthew Broderick). When Shaw is arrested trying to sneak out of the country by FBI special agent Claire Denham (played by Tea Leoni), the staff realizes that all their money, invested by Shaw, is gone. After a suicide attempt by Lester, the staff and Mr. Fitzhugh decide to find the $20 million dollar stash that is believed Shaw has hidden in his penthouse.
Also in the Penthouse is Shaw’s pride possession, a Ferrari once owned by Steve McQueen. The staff, guided by, their expert thief Slide (played by Eddie Murphy) set out to find the $20M only to find more but not in the form they expected.
Stiller is perfect as the controlling, yet flexible, Manager. Alda is beyond perfect as the arrogant financier who thinks he’s getting away with something. Murphy is great as the smart-alecky thief. Affleck is very good as the overly cautious father-to-be, who is only looking to have his baby born healthy. Sidibe is funny in this comedic role. Broderick is more forlorn than usual which fits him. Leoni is very funny as the FBI agent who wants to play by the rule book, gets drunk well, and wants The Tower’s staff to get their just deserts. Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson wrote a funny and impossible story. Brett Ratner did a good job of pulling laughs from the characters and dealing with improbability.
Overall: This film has a great cast, was funny often but what and how they rob Shaw was not realistic.