Going in Style Reviews
Movie Review: Going in Style (2017)
Date Viewed: April 13 2017
Directed By Zach Braff (Garden State and Wish I Was Here)
Screenplay By Theodore Melfi, Based on the 1979 film of the same name from Martin Brest
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd, Ann-Margret, Joey King, Kenan Thompson, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Peter Serafinowicz and John Ortiz.
Did we really need a remake to "Going in Style"? Not really. Does it work as a pleasant distraction for seniors who are over 65? I think so but still "Going in Style" is just another "I got to pay the bills" film for Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. Meh or only so-so are perfect words to this describe this movie because there is nothing at stake here and the movie goes oatmeal soft at the end. I didn't see Martin Brest's 1979 original because it didn't seem like a classic. This movie is faraway from becoming a classic, the only thing it's set out to do is to entertain the target demographic which is elderly men who are in their 70s.
Freeman, Caine and Arkin play Willie, Joe and Albert, three lifelong buddies who plan to do a bank job after their pensions get knocked down. They all had jobs at a steel manufacturing company but when a major bank buys out the company they work for, their pensions get suspended and they are outraged. Desperate to make ends meet and care for their loved ones, Willie, Joe and Albert hatch up a plan to rob the very bank that bought out their company and get even.
Joe takes the hardest hit of the group because in less than 30 days, he, his daughter and granddaughter, Brooklyn (Joey King) will be homeless and forced to live the streets. Willie on the other hand is seriously ill and he needs a kidney transplant but he can't afford the operation. Willie, Joe and Albert start their crime spree by robbing food from a convenient grocery store but they get caught. Thankfully the manager (Kenan Thompson) lets them off the hook and the three seniors turn to a criminal who's literally named Jesus (John Ortiz) and he shows them their bank robbery homework which is looking out for security cameras, finding a good exit and not getting distracted by a hostage or hostages.
During their bank robbery scheme, Albert also finds the time to hang out with a love interest named Annie (Ann-Margret, who's basically playing the same role she had in the two "Grumpy Old Men" movies). Meanwhile, on their trail is an FBI agent named Hamer (Matt Dillon) who's been investigating recent bank robberies in New York.
Michael Caine is a great actor but are we really supposed to believe that he's a blue-collar worker in Brooklyn while still carrying his British accent? Speaking of blue-collar people, I don't recall Brooklyn being a go-to American city for blue-collar, manufacturing jobs? WOW! I guess President Trump really is the ultimate jobs president. "Going in Style" was directed by Zach Braff who previously helmed seriously personal work such as "Garden State" and "Wish I Was Here". This wacky comedy is brand new territory for director Zach Braff but it's not exactly original territory for him. With a mediocre script from Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent and Hidden Figures), there are some funny moments here and there but what's missing in "Going in Style" is a reason to care.
It's good-natured and harmless and all three Oscar-winning veterans do have charismatic energy and warm chemistry together but there's nothing special or inventive going on here. While it's not a bad remake, "Going in Style" will only leave you with a simple shrug.