Updated: Brett Ratner‘s Tower Heist (which opens tomorrow, and which I’m finally seeing this evening) isn’t doing all that well on Rotten Tomatoes so far. 67% isn’t awful, when I got a grade like that on a high-school exam it meant that I’d failed. A film has to get 70% or better to be called “critically approved,” I think.
“There are heist pictures that offer careful and detailed accounts of criminal procedure, generating suspense by focusing on the precise arrangements necessary to bring a brazen and improbable crime to fruition,” writes N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott. “Tower Heist is emphatically not one of those movies.
“Important plot points seem to have been edited away — or never bothered with in the first place — and credulity is strained at nearly every point.
“If this is a Robin Hood story, it is more in the manner of Daffy Duck than Errol Flynn (or, heaven help us, Russell Crowe). Which is great — or would be if Mr. Ratner were daring or disciplined enough to unleash the full farcical anarchy that Tower Heist occasionally promises but rarely delivers.
“Mediocre entertainment is not a crime — this is still America, dammit! — but Tower Heist could and should have been much more. Mr. Ratner goes for the safe bet and the easy score, which means that, for all his shows of solidarity with the working stiffs, he has more in common with the wealthy scam artist who took their hard-earned money.”