Tower Heist Directed by: Brett Ratner Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: November 4, 2011
TRAILER SCORE: 3/10
Thoughts by TSR: Oh, Brett Ratner. Why must you do this to me? Me, one of the few who don’t think you’re among the worst things to ever happen to cinema. I don’t even think X-Men: The Last Stand is horrible (bad sure, but not horrible). It might sound like I’m a Ratner fan, but that’s far from the truth. All I’m saying is I’ve never thought he’s as bad as some make him out to be. This trailer for Tower Heist sort of makes me see their point.
It’s only about three minutes long, but I can’t help but consider it problematic that I didn’t laugh once while watching a trailer for what’s supposed to be a comedy. There was only one instance where I even chuckled, and that came when Matthew Broderick said what would happen to him if he got shot in the face.
In that moment Broderick was reacting to ex-funny actor Eddie Murphy. It has been a while since Murphy has been in a comedy that I’ve enjoyed, and if what’s on display here holds true, the wait will continue. Here he comes off as grating and I was already annoyed by him after a couple of lines. Ben Stiller fares slightly better as the straight man, but that’s only because he wasn’t nails on a chalkboard like Murphy. If there’s one nice thing to say it’s that the film has a solid supporting cast. Not that they made me laugh in the trailer, mind you, but on paper it is an interesting, eclectic group. I already mentioned Broderick, but in addition there is Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, and Alan Alda playing a Bernie Madoff-type. Maybe in another life there is a hilarious trailer with this cast, but this isn’t it.
I know comedy trailers have it tough. They can’t (or at least shouldn’t) give away their best jokes, but they still need to show something to convince audiences to see it. Not only did this trailer for Tower Heist fail to make me laugh, it did nothing to convince me there is anything worth checking out in the final product.