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Dan's Review: "Going in Style" is an old joke

Apr 08, 2017 09:57PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine in Going in Style - © 2017 Warner Bros.

Going in Style (Warner Bros.)

Rated PG-13 for drug content, language and some suggestive material.

Starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Joey King, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margret, Christopher Lloyd, Kenan Thompson, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, John Ortiz, Peter Serafinowicz.

Written by Theodore Melfi, based on Going in Style by Martin Brest.

Directed by Zach Braff.

GRADE: B-

REVIEW:

Growing old is no picnic (physically speaking) but it has it’s benefits, too. Along with a few discounts, you can also draw upon inherent wisdom that comes with advanced years. Coming to terms with old age is the driving comedic theme behind Going in Style, a remake (of sorts) of a 1979 movie by the same title (starring Art Carney, George Burns and Lee Strasberg).

This time around, we get Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin playing the roles of Willie, Joe and Albert, three old pals and retirees living in Brooklyn. Willie and Albert share an apartment, while Joe lives with his divorced daughter and granddaughter. When the trio discovers that corporate outsourcing has obliterated their pension, they hatch a plan to rob a bank to recover their lost earnings. They hire Jesus (John Ortiz), a man with “criminal knowledge” to teach them all the tricks of the bank robbing trade. The men carry out their scheme and make off with the money, only to find that the FBI is hot on their trial. It will take luck and a little karma if the fellas are to get away without getting caught.

Going in Style is moderately funny, mostly grabbing for jokes at the expense of the elderly. There are a few supporting roles that add to the geriatric flavor of the film, including Christopher Lloyd as an associate suffering the onset of dementia and Ann Margret as Albert’s love interest. Having experienced such issues of old age with parents and in-laws first-hand, I can attest that the “Golden Years” aren’t always as funny nor promiscuous as Going in Style makes it seem. Also, if you think you’ve already seen Morgan Freeman yuk his way through old age on screen, you’d be right (The Bucket List, RED, Last Vegas).

As for similarities with the original 1979 version, the contemporary Going in Style has very few, other than they are both movies about three old guys who rob a bank. The new version is void of negative consequences for the main characters, while the original had much darker themes. Robbing a bank without penalty makes the new Going in Style seem more like a fantasy movie with a “Scooby-Do” ending all wrapped up in a nice, happy package.

 

Going in Style Trailer

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