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Tower Heist by Christophe Beck

Tower Heist

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Tower Heist (Soundtrack) by Christophe Beck
Tower Heist (Poster and Memorabilia)










Tower Heist (Soundtrack) by Christophe Beck

Tower Heist
Composed by Christophe Beck
Promotional Release (2010)

Rating: 6/10

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“When judged solely outside the film, BECK’S score comes off as consistently sufficient in evoking the assumedly mythically glamorous side of a life of crime without ever breaking any boundaries.”

Consistently Sufficient
Review by Richard Buxton

The prospect of a typical Heist movie is rarely, if ever, met with the voracious expectation of originality by legions of salivating fans. Rather, a heist movie such as TOWER HEIST is expected to provide an assortment of thrills that generally follow a loose but ultimately formulaic template. The genre has generally been defined by a repetitious history, regardless of whether the template chosen is of a serious or more comedic nature. Audiences of recent years will largely be familiar with the trilogy of OCEAN’S films, with the first in the trio setting the standard for the comedic heist thriller of the last decade. Once the elaborate crime is in motion TOWER HEIST does little to dispel the suspicion that it will not be the film to break the mould, yet it is in the nature of its protagonist’s that TOWER HEIST stands out.

Unlike OCEAN’S ELEVEN, TOWER HEIST follows the fumbling attempts to secure a multi-million dollar figure from a fraudulent Wall Street businessman. The idea that, apart from one character TOWER HEIST’S “heroes” are all amateurs is clearly the catalyst for comedic capers perhaps unseen in previous heist movies. Not only does this provide the filmmaker’s with an opportunity, it also provides composer CHRISTOPHE BECK with the chance to walk a road less traveled. From the opening titles of TOWER HEIST, it’s obvious that despite this, TOWER HEIST is going to offer little more than the stereotypical swagger of a heist score with an added dash of comedic tension thrown into the mix.

When judged solely outside the film, BECK’S score comes off as consistently sufficient in evoking the assumedly mythically glamorous side of a life of crime without ever breaking any boundaries. Without prior knowledge of the film’s intricate details, one could easily conjure up ties between BECK’S strutting brass and guitar motif’s and a cast of stylish OCEAN’S types. Yet, alongside and after a viewing of the film, BECK’S score does establish and maintain a surprisingly strong connection with the film’s cast of misfits. Despite this, the composer clearly found a comfort zone within the boundaries of TOWER HEIST, and rarely suggests he ever thought to push beyond them.

The majority of TOWER HEIST’S music revolves around the grooving main theme. The mixture of the pulsing bass guitar, smooth keyboard and bombastic brass provides the film with the sufficient suaveness without going so far as to claim this group of amateurs could ever masquerade as career-criminals. BECK holds back just enough from OCEAN’S territory with this theme, keeping things in context. The main problem with this theme is that it offers so little in evolutionary opportunity. From its opening statement to the finale, the remains largely the same. “Theme from Tower Heist” (1) provides the all-encompassing review of the theme, while tracks such as “We Go On Snoopy” (12) provide a sneaking but ultimately bare variation. The staccato bass-line of the theme appears regularly throughout the score, in the shuffling “Fifty Dollar Thrift Lift” (10) for instance, or in percussion and string form in “Arrested” (19).

Outside of the opening presentation of the main theme, the highlight of TOWER HEIST comes from the mercifully somewhat less predictable action/tension music. Unfortunately, this side of the score is in short supply, only making an appearance in brief flurries of breathless brass action in the likes of “Shaft Fail” (17), the criminally brief “Odessa’s Cake” (18), the abrasive “Courthouse Con” (13) and the pensively ascending “Grand Theft Auto” (14).

Running for a total of 40 minutes, TOWER HEIST is of a reasonable length as far as soundtrack releases go, but it becomes immediately apparent that the score doesn’t contain the necessary variation within its musical fiber to sustain any consistent attention from the average listener. The score tends to fall back on the main theme far too often considering its simplistic, although admittedly appropriate, design. Had CHRISTOPHE BECK taken the action and suspense sides of the score to greater levels, TOWER HEIST may have risen above the sea of sufficient scores into the company of scores that go beyond the bare minimum of fitting in with the film they were written for.

Rating: 6/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Theme for Tower Heist 3:31  ***
2 Code Black 2:53  ****
3 Shawfrontation 2:08  ***
4 The Germ 1:57  ***
5 Lester's Loss 0:59  ***
6 My Little Bitch 1:29  ***
7 Macy's Day 2:47  ***
8 The Marshall Swindle 1:10  **
9 Right at Rikers 0:46  **
10 Fifty Dollar Thrift Lift 1:57  ***
11 The Charlie Deception 0:56  ***
12 We Go On Snoopy 3:00  ****
13 Courthouse Con 1:51  ***
14 Grand Theft Auto 3:23  ****
15 Gonna Call Ralph 1:07  ***
16 Strong Box Situation 0:59  **
17 Shaft Fail 0:49  ***
18 Odessa's Cake 1:40  ***
19 Arrested 0:54  ***
20 Shawstafari 2:43  ****
21 Gold Rush 2:10  ****
22 End Titles 1:29  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 40 minutes  


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