MOVIE REVIEW: Going in Style

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin star in this Zac Braff Directed comedy about the plight of the pensioners in America who pay into their company pension fund only to have it taken away by the banks and the company.  They decide to rob a bank for the amount they are owed, and the results are not as planned.

I have to be honest when I saw the trailer for this, which I watched by accident as I don’t like watching trailers, but it was part of some other screening, I stuffed an entire pillow into my mouth and screamed the scream of the damned.  We had just gotten over Last Vegas, the one joke film, when this appeared on the horizon.  I decided then to look into a full frontal lobotomy, but with current health problems, and the fact I wanted this because of a movie, I was advised against it.  Thankfully the medical professionals were right for once and I honestly enjoyed the heck out of Going in Style.

It was a lot of the same characteristics as Last Vegas, a lot of jokes about getting older that don’t quite land as they should, but it’s the chemistry between Caine, Freeman, and Arkin that just makes it something special.  It’s going to hit home with a lot of people who live in what their politicians call ‘FREE’ countries, it seems that FREE means you work your back side off and get screwed two feet from the finish line.  The financial part of the film is poked fun at and yet realistic to a fault.  Caine witnesses a bank robbery during a time when the bank is explaining how they are about to rob him of everything that he’s worked for.  When his former company announces they are wrapping up and using the pension fun to cover their debts it paints him into a corner.  His friend and former co worker Freeman joins in with the scheme while Arkin takes some convincing. 

The great thing here is that, as I said, the chemistry between all the main players is something special and their banter is just priceless.  We’ve seen each of these performers in better roles, better written pieces, and yet this just works for them.  Arkin as always steals the show with his performance, just waiting to get to death, while trying to teach Sax to people who don’t want to learn the instrument.  I loved that they don’t explain Caine’s English accent at all, yet reference it, time and again.  Freeman is good as the one member of the heist group who doesn’t have much to lose as his Kidney’s are about to go.  Christopher Lloyd plays what to me, as a fan of Taxi, is his character from that 80’s TV show as a pensioner, just magical comic timing and wit.

Going in Style isn’t going to light up the box office, it’s not going to win any awards, and some of you will just not see what I see in the film.  For me, in a week where health news seemed to dim the lights a little, it made me laugh.  It made me forget the world outside the cinema, outside the fiction of the film.  I laughed so hard at the shop lifting scene and loved the banter between the main performers.  Seeing Christopher Lloyd and Ann Margret, who looks as stunning as she did twenty years ago in Grumpy Old Men, made me happy.  We can’t forget that going to the cinema is our escape from the darkness of life sometimes, and when it comes to that escape, Going in Style pays for itself.

Director: Zach Braff
Writers: Theodore Melfi, Edward Cannon
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Joey King, Ann-Margret

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