Film Review: “Going in Style”

Starring: Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Zach Braff
Rated: PG-13
Running time: 1 hr 36 mins
New Line Cinema

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

It’s funny how things come back around in Hollywood. I’ve heard it said that there are only five original ideas at any one time in Tinsel Town, which is why there seem to be so many remakes. I’m curious how many people remember the original “Going in Style,” which came out in 1979 and starred two Oscar winners (Art Carney and George Burns) and Al Pacino’s acting teacher, the great Lee Strasberg. I certainly do. Almost four decades later, three Oscar winners (and a couple of nominees) bring the story to the 21st Century.

Al (Arkin), Joe (Caine) and Willie (Freeman) are three elderly gentlemen living quietly on their pensions. Or so they think. After another company buys their old employer, they move the work out of the country, thereby legally defunding the pension accounts of the three men and hundreds others. As if that’s not bad enough, each is going through their own crisis. Al is getting cranky and set in his ways while Willie is in need of a kidney. Joe finds himself facing the fact that he may lose his house when his finance rate triples overnight. While protesting this to the bank manager Joe finds himself caught in the middle of a bank robbery. Amazed at the skill and precision of the robbers – and the fact that they made off with $1.2 million, Joe gets an idea…

An entertaining comedy that leans on the talent of its stars, “Going in Style” is a fun way to kill 90 minutes in a darkened theatre. With a total of 15 Academy Award nominations – and four Oscars – between them, Arkin, Caine and Freeman blend perfectly as three friends who have known each other for decades. Their comfort with each other is obvious, and you can’t help but believe that they are fine friends off camera as well. Throw in a few more nominations with co-stars Ann-Margaret as Arkin’s possible love interest and Matt Dillon as the FBI man in charge of the investigation. They laughs aren’t outrageous, but they’re there, which is always a plus. Another plus is that Ann-Margaret looks the same today at 75 then she did at 25!

If you’re looking for a few laughs this weekend, may I suggest you go in style to see “Going in Style.”

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