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By now, you’ve probably seen the trailers or TV spots for Tower Heist, right? It’s the one with Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and a cavalcade of hilarious character actors. They’re planning on stealing back the money they lost to a Bernie Madoff-like billionaire. It looks fun, has great actors, and appears to have some really timely themes.
However, there’s a big, unfortunate “but” attached to Tower Heist, and his name is Brett Ratner. Yes, the director of such illustrious titles as X-Men: The Last Stand and Rush Hour is back for another go at sheer Hollywood escapism, and if history is any indicator, he’ll royally screw up Tower Heist.
This begs the question: When it comes to Brett Ratner, is “hate” too strong a word? I say absolutely not. Let’s countdown the reasons.
1.) He destroyed the X-Men franchise
To be fair, the series didn’t bottom out until X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But that’s an all-time bad film, and “X3” really isn’t a ton better. This is perhaps the worst written superhero film in history. It also featured some of the most ridiculous action I’ve ever seen. Worst of all, however, is the cavalier way Ratner commits character assassination, disposing of whomever he wants without any regard for X-Men history.
2.) He made Chris Tucker a household name
Really, does this need any further explanation? Before Rush Hour, Chris Tucker had just a couple bit parts in films like The Fifth Element and Jackie Brown. Rush Hour was his first big starring role in a major Hollywood picture, and though he hasn’t done a ton since then, his work in this series left an undeniably annoying impression on moviegoers everywhere.
3.) He officially destroyed Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal, Ridley Scott’s sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, was a problematic film. It was also a hit. Ratner took everything bad about Scott’s film and made it worse. Red Dragon is a limp noodle of a film, one that leaves absolutely no impression on you. Hard to believe it features perhaps the best cinematic villain of all time.
4.) He’s a douche
I’ve never met Brett Ratner, but I also know every interview he’s given makes him seem like a spoiled frat boy. He’s Hollywood personified. He makes movies to appeal to studio executives, not fans. This leads him to get paid more than someone with his talent should, and it helps him get gigs like producer of this year’s Oscars.
I’d love to be proved wrong by Tower Heist. I think that film has the makings of something fun. But nothing — nothing — Ratner has ever done gives me any reason to believe this won’t be another soulless Hollywood cash grab. But we’ll find out for sure this weekend.