Rating 2.5/5

The recent release of Going in Style was a remake of a 1979 film of the same name starring George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. It would be interesting and fun to see those actors in that film and I will have to check that out. So that will be on my list for a future post. Not having seen the prior film, I cannot comment on it so I’ll have to rely on what I saw as I viewed this 2017 version.

This 2017 remake stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin, and was written by Theodore Melfi and Edward Cannon. At the helm of this production is director Zach Braff. The trailer leads us to believe the film is a laugh out comedy. I believe it was written as a comedy (or at least meant to be a comedy) but it is not what it appears. Of course there were comedic moments in the film, but they were few and far between and those moments did not sustain the film as a comedy. However, I believe this version seemed to be more of a social commentary on big corporations keeping the working-man down and the importance of family. But even those elements did not seem to hold up the film. With all that being said, the filmmakers were more than likely looking at the big names (Caine, Freeman, and Arkin) in the cast to really sell this movie. The film also starred Ann-Margret, Christopher Lloyd, and Joey King.

Even with its flaws, the film was enjoyable. It was probably not as enjoyable as it could have been, but still watchable. One of the main problems with this film, though, is that it plays on and on, seemingly taking forever to really get going. The plot is pretty basic, as the three main characters have been screwed by big banks and a shady corporate deal that robs them of their pensions. So they decide to rob a bank (the same bank that holds the mortgage for one of them). All the planning, family issues, and social issues that are shown through half of the film come together for the actual event of the heist, which remarkably takes only a few minutes of the film. Most of the time for the film is spent looking into the lives of these characters and their reaction to the world around them.

The performances were adequate here for the film, but nearly bordered on low-key performances and almost seemed wasteful of the talents from these three film actors. There have been other films where it seems to have low energy or a lot of excitement infused in the action of the film and I mostly despise those films. I’ve compared those films to seeing a live theatrical play where the energy from the actors is low and the play just seems to drag. That’s almost how this film felt at times, but even so there was a quiet charm to the film. It had just enough to keep me into the film and engaged with the characters and story to see it through, despite its quiet, slow action and soft characters.

If you’re looking for a fun time, laugh out loud comedy, then this film is probably not for you. If you might be looking for stellar performances from three iconic actors, you might look somewhere else. But even with its slow-moving action, low-key performances, it might be good for some simple entertainment for a lazy afternoon. As it did with me, it might just keep your interest just enough to be watchable and enjoyable on some level.


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