Brett Ratner has essentially been blackballed from Hollywood after a number of serious allegations were made against him by several actresses, forcing Warner Bros. to sever all ties with the filmmaker and his Ratpac-Dune Entertainment company. The outfit were in the midst of a hugely lucrative 75-picture deal with the studio, but 2018’s Dwayne Johnson video game blockbuster Rampage was their last project of any kind.
Ratner may have been a reliable pair of hands when it came to crafting big budget movies with a decent track record at the box office, but he was far from spectacular. The success of the Rush Hour franchise stemmed from the chemistry between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan rather than anything the director brought to the table, and only three of his ten features managed to secure a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first was Rush Hour, the second was Silence of the Lambs prequel Red Dragon, and the third was the forgotten Tower Heist.
Using a catastrophic financial crisis as the basis for a breezy crime thriller was a risky move, but Tower Heist just about got away with it thanks to Ben Stiller’s reliable everyman charm and a wisecracking Eddie Murphy coming somewhat close to recapturing his glory days as the motor-mouthed petty crook Slide.
A ragtag group of disgruntled employees band together to try and reclaim the money that was embezzled from them by their shady boss but naturally, hijinks ensue as the woefully unequipped criminals stumble from one mishap to the next. Tower Heist is hardly a classic, but it provides decent enough entertainment for a lazy afternoon. Netflix subscribers clearly agree, too, with the caper currently the seventh most-watched title on the platform on the global chart.