Saturday, 24 August 2019

Movie Review: Going In Style (2017)


A geriatric comedy, Going In Style is a stodgy story about three desperate old men plotting a bank robbery.

In New York City, retirees Joe, Willie and Albert (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin) are stunned to learn that after a lifetime of blue collar work, their company pension is disappearing due to a corporate takeover and offshore relocation. Facing financial ruin, Joe concocts a plan to rob a bank, inspired by having recently witnessed a hold-up.

Willie reluctantly agrees to participate, but Al, who is pursuing a romance with Annie (Ann-Margret), is unsure and needs more convincing. After a botched training run to steal from a local supermarket, the trio reach out to Joe's connected former son-in-law Murphy and shady pet store owner Jesus (John Ortiz) for help. The three friends proceed with planning and training for the heist, but FBI Agent Hamer (Matt Dillon) will be a challenging foe.

An imminently forgettable remake of a 1979 George Burns film, Going In Style is a flimsy excuse for three veteran actors to parade across the screen. With no laughs and no edge to be found in the Theodore Melfi script, director Zach Braff resorts to basic juvenile and unconvincing antics to try and squeeze some entertainment out of an exhausted premise.

While Caine, Freeman and Arkin are dependable performers, they essentially sleepwalk through the movie by leaning on their pre-established screen personas to compensate for missing character depth. The story meekly attempts and miserably fails to stoke the flames of seething anger against faceless corporations and greedy banks padding their bottom lines at the expense of the little people.

Instead, Going In Style settles for a mundane plot consisting of hapless wannabe crooks bumbling their way to an unconvincing heist against a backdrop of constant bickering to simulate friendship. A serious disease, strained family dynamics and a tentative romance are predictably thrown in as sub-plots to activate when convenient.

Neither smart nor stylish, Going In Style has nothing going for it.






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