Going In Style Reviewed
Going in Style is set in New York, where Willie (Freeman), Joe (Caine), and Albert (Arkin) are retired best friends just trying to enjoy their golden years with the little pension that they have. But the steel mill that they all worked at is being sold to a corporation in Vietnam and that company is now in cahoots with the bank to liquidate the pensions and pay off their debt. So these three guys are going to get even by – you guessed it – robbing that bank.
There are two things that I didn't realize until after I walked out of this movie. One is that this was a remake of a 1979 movie that starred George Burns. From what I've read the 1979 original is a well-regarded movie, but I don't think that many people know about it. And since Hollywood is so big on remakes this is the perfect type of movie to re-make; one that no one can remember.
The other thing I learned is that it's directed by Zach Braff. Yeah, the same Zach Braff from Garden State and Scrubs. He also did Wish I Was Here, the Kickstarter project that didn't go over too well, so I imagine he's looking for a bit of a safe play here to prove that he's still got it. And he does. He takes a movie that has no business being anything more than meh and makes a meh plus movie with some schmaltz tacked on to the end.
But as I say all these things I wonder, isn’t there something more we could be doing with three Oscar winners? I enjoy people making fun of The Bachelor as much as the next person but these are the same kind of roles Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino have been playing for years. Can’t we find some other gig besides “look at the funny thing Grandpa is doing”?
This isn't a great movie. But I would see these three actors in anything they did together, even a My Dinner with Andre remake (consider that my official pitch, Hollywood producers). I just wish there was something more. Going In Style is the kind of movie you can wait till it comes out on Redbox, realize the movie you actually wanted wasn't there and then pick this one instead. I can’t envision another scenario in which you would choose to see this movie. D+