Wednesday 12 April 2017

Film: 'Going in Style'

Second film seen in two days relying on getting much of its laughs from the fact that the main characters are of advanced age. Of course they can be, though surely not for that feature alone as that approach quickly loses steam. (I didn't laugh, chortle or, I think, smile even just the once). 

It was news to me to read that this is a re-make of a 1979 George Burns film, of which I'd never heard. This present version makes me curious to see the original.

The plot is simplicity itself. In New York, three retired gents find that their pensions, totally relied upon, have been frozen because of manufacturing relocations to outside America, resulting in very real threats to repossess their homes. They agree on a plan to recover their financial security by robbing that same bank.
Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are two sides of the crime-intended triumvirate, and Sir Michael Caine, mouthy supporter of Brexit, takes the helm. ("I'd rather be a poor master than a rich servant" the multi-millionaire actor very recently opined, as he stashes his wealth in overseas havens to avoid the taxman.)
Also in the cast is Ann-Margret (whom I haven't seen for ages! - though she doesn't have that much to do here). Then there's Matt Dillon, as well as Christopher Lloyd (whose entire acting career seems to be based on mugging for the camera, and which always annoys me like hell) - and additionally, and very surprisingly for me, English actor-comedian Peter Serafinowicz.

There's very little that's original about this film. It verged on tedium a lot of the time, with that being exacerbated by background pizzicato strings telling you that, despite appearances, this is meant to be a comedy, so laugh, damn you!
Director Zach Breff thinks that a situation of three old geezers being bank robbers will carry him through to make it a droll entertainment without putting in much effort and with an unexceptional script. He's wrong. It's quite dull.

However, I must report that there were occasional shrieks of delight from some of the audience I saw it with, including a lady directly in front of me. God only knows why. Were they laughing out of hope or out of desperation? 

You might find it funny. I only wish I had..........4.5.


  1. Ew! Just saw Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine on Graham Norton. I didn't connect the film title with the earlier George Burns film. Wow. Disappointing.

    1. So you recognise the early, original version, Mitch? I wish I did because I'd bet that it was funnier than this re-make. 'Disappointing' is the 'mot juste'!

  2. Saw the movie friday. I have to agree with you. It was very predictable. I took my mentally challenged sister with me...she cried through the movie.because i wouldnt buy her a hot dog. A rather expensive outing for a mediocre movie and i wasnt adding 10$ for the hot dog. I did laugh a little.

    1. It could have been so much better, M, but it took the lazy way out. Doesn't say much for the coming film of the Hatton Garden robbery (to follow the current one just released, dismally reviewed everywhere), also starring Caine, I believe. I suppose I'll be seeing it, both versions even, though my hopes aren't exactly high.
      But pleased that you got at least one laugh out of 'Style'.

  3. Ray,
    It's all about good scripts, to me the most important element of a good film. No matter how good the actors or the story idea, a mediocre script will always sink a movie. That's what this movie sounds like.

    1. It's the age-old story of missed opportunity, Ron. It's okay if you don't mind spending a couple of hours wishing they'd done something else instead of coming up with this lack-lustre production.