Comedy Caper 'Going in Style' Remade for the Trump Era
- Author: Stacy Houston Apr 08, 2017,
Apr 08, 2017, 7:35
Director Zach Braff has that enviable task with the remake, but thankfully he has three excellent and seasoned actors (Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman) to help his cause.
The final straw comes when their pension payments are frozen with no warning by the factory they used to work for, and they're no longer able to live the already modest lives they already were. This plants the seed in Joe's mind and, since this is the same bank that's helping dissolve their pensions, he convinces his buddies to help him rob the bank in order to reclaim their lost income.
Caine plays Joe, Freeman is Willie and Arkin takes on the role of Albert, and these guys are about as fascinating as those names suggest. Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Death is the most definite thing in life, yet seeing legends discuss it packed the film with a more emotional heft.
I've tried to talk to several people about the movie and the response I get is little more than, "What's 'Going in Style?' Is that a documentary about fashion?" Freeman and Caine phone in their performances, falling back on natural charisma and a lifetime of old-pro screen acting bits.
But the director doesn't pay almost enough attention to continuity or credibility: there are bogus moments, especially during the centerpiece robbery, when the behavior we're watching on the part of the three aging, masked principals is so obviously not them it undermines the entire film. His detached nature lends well to the "all or nothing" quality of the mission.
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Rather than time itself, banks and big business are the bad guys of this Style, as they force our geriatric gents to become reservoir dogs, so they don't end up without a pot to (hardly) piss in.
I say all this, and still I have to admit leaving the theatre with a smile on my face. A version of "Going In Style" that matched the one from the '70s would never be done today because of the obsession with happy endings. The direction was nothing special, which is surprising for Braff based on his earlier work like Garden State, and the score was obnoxious by being punchy and cartoonish. Zach Braff sure does. Included are Dean Martin, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke, as well as A Tribe Called Quest.
The idea of a heist caper with the elderly seems to be an absurd notion on paper, but with the calibre of the Actors involved in Going In Style, led by the wonderful Sir Michael Caine this is a sure fire diamond in the rough. They're not really playing characters inhabiting a story. That is when he gets the idea that if young idiots can pull of a heist, he and his septuagenarian posse can. Their "escape" was hysterical.
The leads' banter is affecting at times, although this film isn't going on any career highlight reels for any of the principals.