#REVIEW: “GOING IN STYLE”
Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
In 1979, Martin Brest made a movie starting George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg about three friends who decide to rob a bank. The Movie played at the Venice Film Festival and was considered a mild success. The opportunity to appeal to an older demographic proved too much to resist so naturally, Going in Style needed to be remade for a modern audience.
Joe (Michael Caine), Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin) worked at the same steel manufacturer together and have been friends for decades. When they learn their former employer is moving its operations to Vietnam and their pensions are being dissolved, the trio face the harsh reality they may lose everything because their Social Security cheques won’t be enough to live on. Joe, who is facing foreclosure, comes up with a plan so inane it just might work: rob a bank.
The Movie is at its strongest when the three friends are onscreen together. Whether they are attempting to shoplift from their local grocery store or learning Bank Robbery 101, the chemistry between the actors is impressive. Caine and Freeman have worked together but Arkin makes a strong case to costar with the others in Christopher Nolan’s next Film.
Going in Style’s supporting cast is nothing short of stellar. Ann-Margret, Christopher Lloyd, Matt Dillon and John Ortiz hold their own against the Oscar winning leads. Ann-Margret in particular sizzles as siren Annie, who will do almost anything to get Albert to notice her. At 75, she is still a sex symbol who can dance rings around actresses many years her junior.
Zach Braff takes no risks in his direction of this Movie. Split screen phone calls and a jazzy soundtrack are supposed to help transport the audience to an older era of Movies, but simply come off as cheap gimmicks. The Movie’s greatest weakness is its dénouement which feels rushed and uninspired. Although the final shot is “cute,” the banter leading up to it is lackluster and uninspired.
As light comedies with stellar ensemble casts go, Going in Style is inoffensive and palatable. You’ll forget about it soon after, but for an hour and a half you’ll laugh and have a good time with three old codgers who just want their slice of the pie.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release GOING IN STYLE Friday, April 7, 2017.