Going in Style (2017)
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Critic Reviews for Going in Style
Originality is not the purpose of Going in Style, the kind of old-fashioned entertainment that gives old-fashioned entertainment a bad name.
All three stars deliver exactly what you expect from them -- nothing more, nothing new -- but their onscreen familiarity is a strange comfort in itself.
There are weightier movies with more moral complexity, but this is just a hug from grandpa. And who couldn't use more of those?
Yes, it's good to see these wonderful actors get together in, well, almost anything, but this broken-down jalopy of a movie is not, to put it charitably, an ideal vehicle.
Its stars are such pros, they're so enormously charismatic and have such lovely chemistry with each other, it's hard not to be charmed by their mere presence on screen.
Audience Reviews for Going in Style
I've noticed a few movies like this in recent years, you know, with a small tight-knit roster of aging A-list stars that might not be here for much longer or are simply getting too old. I know that sounds really horrible but we've all gotta face the truth about life. But its funny how these epic cast rosters only seem to happen when the stars become old, didn't see it too much back in the day. I guess that could be down to them wanting to be the only major star in their own vehicle when they were younger, hungry for fame. As they get older I guess they mellow out a bit. Just a theory. So this is another remake of a movie I have not seen or heard of but seems like a justified update I suppose. The plot centres on three old geezers played by Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin who are all made redundant. Not only that but they all lose their pensions due to their company being bought out and the restructuring within. So what do these old blokes do? Well they decide to rob the bank that is carrying out the restructuring of their pension funds. So you get the gist here, geriatric bank robbers equals hilarity...right? Well yes and no, its hardly a laugh riot that's for sure, but predictable and cliched? most definitely. To start with things move slowly as we meet the three characters and get to know their lives a bit. This is of course required to make us care about these guys and see their situations but it all moves slowly (just like old people). Each character has a different problem that is there to pull on your heartstrings. Joe (Caine) lives with his daughter and granddaughter but due to losing his job and pension they could all be evicted. Willie (Freeman) is becoming very ill due to kidney failure but also cannot afford to visit his family. Albert is the only one without anything overly disastrous happening, he's just a relatively poor old man. So, old men good, bank evil. Got it? good. So to prep for their outrageous felony the guys first try to shoplift from a grocery store. This is one of the only truly funny sequences in the movie showcasing stereotypical geriatric tomfoolery and slapstick. The guys don't have a clue what to do and end up shoving all manner of things down their pants, inside jacket pockets or where ever. The getaway on the mobility scooter tops it off perfectly...if again a little too cliched. Because of course they escape on a mobility scooter, they're old farts. A security officer chases after Albert but it doesn't last too long because Albert is...well old! [i]'this isn't an admission of guilt, I'm just tired'[/i]. The follow up with the store manager (Kenan Thompson of [i]Kenan & Kel[/i]) is also quite amusing. After this disappointing test run they seek help from an actual criminal to help them plan their heist. Cue training montage of old men getting fit and learning the tricks to becoming a top bank robber. Eventually we actually get to the actual bank robbing (are all American banks this splendid looking?) and being a family film its all very gentle and soppy. Old Willie almost keels over from overheating in his mask but is helped by a little girl in a vomit-inducing 'aww' moment. But then things take a slightly darker turn when the bank manager pulls a gun and tries to shoot the old men, but misses. Albert then strides over to the manager firing his blanks at him. This all felt very out of place in my opinion, especially when Albert starts firing his gun at the manager whilst saying he's gonna die. I realise he's letting out his frustration on the manager because of their financial situations and whatnot but Jesus! Apparently the original movie has a more downbeat ending with the old guys getting caught, but this has been overturned here. In this heart-warming adventure the guys get away with it and give much of the money away to all their friends and family. Pretty stupid really, seeing all these people getting packages with huge wads of cash in them. I think most people would probably go to the police suspecting criminal activity, not wanting to get in trouble or dragged into anything. Like I've said this is a [b]slow[/b] moving film, there are lots of typical family scenes with soppy dialog. You do get a good sense of each character for sure but all the while you sit there just wanting them to get on with it. Basically you're not really interested in all the lovey-dovey build up, you just wanna see these guys rob the bank. Its all about old age pensioners robbing a bank, that's amusing and that's all you wanna see. The rest is all very very safe, clean and formulaic; light-hearted being an understatement. So yeah its fine, but could of been much funnier I think.
All the charm of listening to yer Grandma or Grandpa pass gas ... for 90 minutes. Okay. Less charming.
If seeing Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin pal around and bicker for 90 minutes is enough reason to see a movie, then Going in Style offers that and precious little else. This is a movie that offers little more than three great old codgers doing their schtick as they plan to rob the bank that is cheating them out of their hard-earned pensions. The old-guys-acting-up routines vary from mildly amusing to sad and desperate, like a sequence where the trio inexplicably decide to practice their criminal impulses by robbing a convenience store. It's all so broad and obvious and lackluster. There's a scene where they get high and the mere utterance of the word "munchies" seems like it's intended to be a comedic payoff. Going in Style is a remake of a 1979 movie where George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg take to a life of crime to animate them from a forgotten existence. It was strangely serious and had pockets of depth about the kind of care the elderly were receiving and how invisible their needs became to our country. This update loses any seriousness for exasperated and hollow hijinks. One-time indie darling Zach Braff (Garden State) takes his turn as a hired gun directing for the studio system. I don't know if he was easily cowed by the acting veterans or the studio, but his comedy instincts honed over several seasons from Scrubs feel muted here. My theater was packed with people old enough to get their social security checks and they were barely chuckling politely. It's predictable every step of the way and ginned up with contrived conflicts. Still, if all you want to see is a group of octogenarians crack wise and act foolish and you have no other pressing demands, Going in Style may be just enough to get by. Nate's Grade: C
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