Going in Style tosses three of the world’s best aging actors and a legendary actress into a feel-good flick about how hard it is to be old and ignored in a youth-oriented society. Their solution to a plethora of financial problems is to rob a bank.
Michael Caine is Joe. While at his bank and trying to save his house, Joe witnesses a very well organized robbery. Joe is on a pension. Cash is hard to come by. His former company is bankrupt and being sold and his pension money and that of his two best friends is being used to pay the firm’s outstanding bills.
Joe’s bank is handling the company’s unwinding.
So he convinces Morgan Freeman’s Willie and Alan Arkin’s Albert to go along with his plan to rob that particular bank. As victims of the company and the bank’s duplicitous actions and they also want revenge. Being set for life also doesn’t hurt.
The other subplot has Arkin’s Albert being chased by Ann-Margret’s romance minded Annie.
Former Scrubs star Zach Braff (Garden State) directs and he and writer Theorore Melfi (Hidden Figures, St. Vincent) offer up a totally predictable, almost sit-com like movie. Melfi bases the plot on a 1979 feel-good movie that starred George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. So in places it seems a bit of a dated. Predictable yes. Dated? Probably. But it’s impossible not to love the cast and their Robin Hood approach to a late in life crisis.
You’ll see some criticism that it’s predictable and that Freeman, Caine and Arkin, Ann-Margret, Christopher Lloyd and others are doing the same cliche characters found in any movie about older, retired Americans. My response? What else can they play? They’re all too old to do super hero flicks or romantic leading roles. All that’s pretty much left for actors of their generation is movies like this one.
Also voiding the criticism is that it’s a sweet telling. Or maybe I should say retelling.
These days we see Freeman the most since he’s still able to land juicy sidekick roles and other meaningful parts. It’s unfortunate that the mega-talented Caine and Arkin aren’t as lucky.
Both are wonderfully talented and always a joy to watch.
Then there’s Ann-Margret. Wow. Long time no see. She’s been doing TV here and there and was last seen in a major movie release in 2009’s Old Dogs. The lady still lights up the screen. In fact, they all do. It’s a treat — no matter what age you are — to watch these old pros in action. They are among the best of their generation. And if you want to get technical, of any generation.
Going in Style
Director: Zach Braff
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Ann-Margret, Christopher Lloyd, Matt Dillon, John Ortiz, Joey King
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, some language. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.