Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) is the perfect employee. Managing a high end apartment skyscraper in New York, his team look after and cater for all the foibles of their rich charges.
Living in the penthouse suite with a rooftop swimming pool emblazoned with a Dollar Bill mosaic is Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), a wealthy financier with Steve McQueen’s Ferrari in his living room.
How did it get up there, they took it apart and moved it piece by piece, subtle this is not.
Josh plays online chess with Arthur, likes him and entrusts the employees pension fund to him to “double their money”, unbeknown to his work colleagues.
With a story ripped from recent headlines, Shaw is soon in trouble with the FBI, notably pretty detective (Tea Leoni). Subsequently, the employees are left searching for their lost pension funds turning the movie into a “let’s get even” escapade.
Josh is largely loyal but when rattled he can and does takes matters into his own hands, vintage car aficionados should look away.
Following subsequent events, we are left with a larcenous but incompetent gang of six. Likeable and nominally in charge Josh, Charlie (Casey Affleck) who is not much good at anything but has a pregnant wife and extreme motivation. New boy Enrique (Michael Pena) who is not the brightest bulb, Slick (Eddie Murphy) supposed criminal mastermind but none of the above. Odessa, a chambermaid with a bizarre Jamaican accent and a handy sideline in safe-cracking (Gabourey Siibe) and lastly, Mr Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), depressed, straitlaced, crumpled ex-banker and ex-apartment owner.
We are all set for a decent farce with elements of drama, however the movie is set for fun and mostly delivers.
This a rare Hollywood comedy that is actually funny. Whether the group are planning their heist using Lego, getting distracted with Female Sexuality issues or breaking off mid heist to walk a residents pet dog.
Overall of course it’s all very silly and preposterous but it is good to see Eddie Murphy funny again, his sequence with Odessa, as she teaches him the in’s and out’s of safe-cracking is well done. Stiller largely plays the straight-man, allowing the others to bounce their comedic lines off him. Matthew Broderick is perhaps the standout, managing to make Mr Fitzhugh both sad and funny at the same time, Broderick’s comedic timing used to great effect.
It is good to see Judd Hirsch on the big screen, getting a few good scenes as the overall building boss. Alan Alda also lifts the film with his considerable talents bought to bear on the smarmy Mr Shaw.
Like any comedy caper, the tone needs to be right and the project is very much a light souffle but Director Brett Ratner manages to pull off the various elements, to make this a fun night in.
That rare event, a Hollywood comedy that manages to both entertain and provide a light sprinkling of social commentary.
The film is largely designed to be a crowd pleaser and fulfils that role admirably