Running Time: 96 minutes
Director: Zach Braff
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin
(Movie House Cinemas Screening)
Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
“These banks practically destroyed this country. They crushed a lot of people’s dreams, and nothing ever happened to them. We three old guys, we hit a bank. We get away with it, we retire in dignity.”
Going in Style is the latest in a long list of recent comedies starring older actors, usually men, where the characters have been friends for years and decide to do something wacky: like go to Vegas, have a boxing match or in this case, rob a bank.
A remake of a 1979 Art Carny flick Going in Style isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either: unlike many recent American comedies it doesn’t rely on crudeness or sweary swearniness for it’s humour and at least attempts to have some actual jokes, but they aren’t developed beyond the copy and paste formula of, one character saying something and Alan Arkin making a gag about impending death. It’s funny the first few times, but its just repeated at nauseam throughout the entire film.
Arkin does the best with the material he’s been given as the crankiest and most cynical member of the group, he isn’t given very much to work with by the film’s writers but there’s still a certain small joy from watching his uber-grumpy performance.
The film tries to work in other gags, but their nothing more than a string of tried and tested comedic clichés, like a sequence where our characters get unexpectedly high: so as you’d expect they get the munchies, eat a lot of food and one character gets annoyed because they didn’t get high (LOLZ).
The movie isn’t completely dry of laughs. There’s a sequence where the gang shoplift from a local convenience store with the succeeding hijinks offering the odd chuckle. The performance from Kenan Thompson as the store manger is probably the funniest part of the entire movie.
Most of the cast appear to be making a good effort through-out the film, particularly Morgan Freeman, who even in a dull movie as this still seems to be having a good time: that warm tone of his giving much more gravitas to the lazy ‘banks are bad’ dialogue than it probably deserves.
Like a lot of the comedy much of the editing and direction comes off as lazy or uncaring. There’s just too many continuity mistakes between shots, arms, heads, other body parts as well as some object switch places from angle to angle. I’m usually quite forgiving of this sort of thing, but it happened so often, that it really seemed like they just didn’t care on set.
If they don’t care, then why should I?
Overall a rather unfunny and dull experience of a film, with jokes older than the main cast, who save to the film by at least looking like their having a good time. The message of the film has been extremely overplayed and done much better in other comedies, but overall it’s all just a little too bland.