By Cody Lamoreau (Bath, Maine)
There are very few times in recorded history when legendary artists have come together to put on a show. Sure Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro were together in Heat. Indeed Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson collaborated to bring us The Adventures of Tin Tin. This weekend Michael Cain, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin have gathered to give us a film; that is not only enjoyable, but has a surprising amount of heart.
Going in Style is a remake of a film from 1979 of the same name. In this film, three elderly gentlemen, excellently portrayed by Cain, Freeman and Arkin have their pensions ripped right out from under their noses. The culprits, just so happen to be the banks they use for their checks and house information for. On one fateful day Michael Cain experiences a robbery at the bank; which causes him to have the hair-brained idea they should steal from the bank instead of the bank stealing from them.
It goes without saying, the main three performances are fantastic. All three gentlemen, from Arkin to Cain to Freeman bring their own individual personalities and charisma to these roles and they were phenomenal. Sad to say the supporting cast could not fare as well. While these three legendary actors can hold their own in the world of comedy, the supporting cast is either very forgettable or unreasonably over the top.
Comedy is always an interesting topic. In film especially the comedic nature of the story and the characters will either be golden or very disappointing, or a mixture of both. Going in Style treads on the line of being really entertaining or seemingly lukewarm. While there are three strong, hilarious characters; there are also characters like the gentlemen portraying Mr. Cain’s bank officer. If you can picture taking salacious crumb from Return of the Jedi, then turning him into a human, you have this seemingly over the top cartoon of a character.
The creators also make the curious decision of showing the outside lives of our three main characters, when they are not plotting out the robbery. While I feel Michael Cain’s portion of the story dealing with his granddaughter was very touching, it feels as though, the addition of Freeman and Arkin’s outside lives was a little heavy handed. In fact, as the film kept going on it started to feel more like a lifetime prime TV movie and not a theatrically released one.
Meanwhile, as this story is unfolding, having a mixture of heart and laughter, it became abundantly clear the story was very unoriginal while also being predictable. Now don’t take this the wrong way, films can be similar in structure and still be very enjoyable. A prime example of this is Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Both films were almost identical in plot structure and story, but nonetheless both films were both extremely enjoyable to watch. In the case of Going in Style its plot is very similar to the of Robin Hood, Ocean’s Eleven and Tower Heist. But that did not keep the film from being very funny and very entertaining.
Even though it has flaws, as does every other movie out there, it is up to you to decide whether those problems bother you. In that sense I realize that Going in Style is not a perfect movie, but nonetheless I still highly recommend seeing it.
[as they are watching The Bachelorette on TV]
Willie: Luke, it’s the only choice she’s got.
Al: She’s not going to move to a farm in those heels.
Joe: She’s kissed them all, with her tongue.
Willie: She’s a walking venereal disease.
[the Bachelorette chooses the bachelor called Chase and the three friends laugh]