Occupy this: A feisty and funny heist movie about a can’t shoot straight gang of employees and one resident of a luxury high-rise apartment in NYC who, in a topically trendy move, seek revenge on a Wall Street fat cat who steals their pension money.
Ben Stiller anchors the story as Josh the dutiful manager of “The Tower” (think Trump) who attends to every detail of the building’s eccentric guests, including tycoon Arthur Shaw (perfectly cast Alan Alda), who through a Ponzi scheme has pilfered millions including the hotel employees retirement funds.
No doubt at least $20 million must be stashed somewhere, and the likely place is in Shaw’s penthouse, which is under constant surveillance of a team of FBI agents led by a tough but tender Claire (the terrific Tea Leoni).
This poor man’s “Ocean’s Eleven” (some of the writing crew worked on that film too) benefits from some sharp writing, particularly in the first half, as the motley group who will help Josh find Shaw’s stash is assembled. They include evicted banker Matthew Broderick, elevator operator and new hire Michael Pena, expectant father concierge Casey Affleck, Jamaican chambermaid Gabourey Sibide (Oscar winner for “Precious”) and small time crook Eddie Murphy. Murphy is a welcome addition here showing, the streetwise swagger of his early career.
But the rest of the quirky ensemble has plenty of opportunity to propel this caper comedy (along with its occasionally very adult content, even for a PG-13 movie) in all the right directions.
The slightly preposterous final moments are forgivable because they are couched in some outstanding vertigo inducing cinematography by Dante Spinote.
And while 99% of us don’t make their kind of money, it’s still fun to see wealthy actors having such a blast pretending to wreak revenge on a figurative financier who gets just desserts – even if it’s just make believe.
Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.