Starring: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Ann Margret, Joey King, Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd, John Ortiz, Kenan Thompson, Peter Serafinowicz
Directed By: Zach Braff
Plot: A remake of the George Burns/Art Carney comedy. Three seniors find themselves broke when their company ditches their pension fund. With nothing to lose, they set out to steal back what’s rightfully theirs. But will they get away with it?
What Works: You could easily write this off as filler, or a useless remake, but that would be a mistake. I haven’t seen the original, but Caine, Freeman, and Arkin all came to play. Their chemistry is great, and they make the movie fun and a nice diversion. There’s nothing about this film that suggests we’re on the verge of greatness, but sometimes you’re looking for a way to spend two hours that doesn’t suck, and that would be where Going In Style comes in. I see no reason why you’d rush to see this in theatres, but for home viewing, it’s a perfectly fine film. The supporting cast is strong, probably most notably Christopher Lloyd who is hilarious in just a few scenes. Everything about this film was good, not great, but good. The film was well-paced, it had both funny and serious moments, and balanced them well. It tried to do some interesting new things, while balancing with the tropes of the genre. I feel bad that this film didn’t score fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, because it’s not a bad film at all, it’s just not a game changer. I’m surprised more critics didn’t just give this a pass, because it is an enjoyable film overall, and there’s nothing really glaringly wrong with it.
What Doesn’t Work: Like I said, there’s nothing really huge to complain about. Can it be a little sappy at times? Sure. But, that’s kind of the vibe of the film. A little sappy, a little silly. It’s meant for a certain audience, and I bet that audience didn’t care that it was sappy at all. I have no complaints about the acting, everyone was on point. If I absolutely had to pick one gripe, I’d say the film drags mostly in the second act, before picking up speed again in the third act. That’s a fairly common problem, where some directors don’t know how to make the middle part of the film interesting. You have the expository first act, where we’re getting to know everyone, and it sets up the story. Then you have the second act, which shows how we get to the third act, and the third act is basically the resolution to the story. Sometimes, the journey to the finish line can get murky, and I’d say it got a little grey here.
Final Word: This film is the equivalent of driving the speed limit. You’re not doing anything wrong. Somehow, cars are passing you, but you’re technically doing everything right. Going In Style is a good film, perfectly fine for home viewing, but you’ll probably forget it even existed in five years. There’s nothing profoundly interesting or unique about it. It’s just good enough to be enjoyed.
Final Grade: B