Going in Style is a family-friendly, demographic wink to growing old, starring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin as our aged sartorial protagonists, and is in a way a sad reminder that these three talented, decades-long careers are acknowledging their own finite mortality.
Fortunately, they crack enough old-man jokes about themselves and each other to preserve the film’s positivity. It’s a charming tale, is a convenient 96 minutes, and is an easy chair remake of the 1979 original.
Having been screwed over by the globalized economy and a bank’s reshuffling of their former employer’s pension obligations, our three grandpas are inspired to rob the bank that has effectively stolen their retirement funds so that they can go back to splurging on pie at their daily neighborhood diner lunches. Deciding they have little to lose if they fail and have to go to jail, they humbly agree to steal only the value of their canceled pensions.
There is an obligatory montage of preparation for the robbery juxtapositioning the trio’s advanced age with the comedic irony of their youthful criminal scheme, though, to the plot’s credit, the robbery and ensuing police investigation led by Matt Dillon have a few twists lying in wait. Beyond that, this movie is entirely unremarkable except in suggesting that the three beloved actors should star in further movies together, just not any more PG-13 trivialities.
Going in Style is almost too positive, and comes across as gimmicky at points, which keeps the film cute but perhaps authors its ultimate eulogy as forgettable. Still, it will be more specifically relatable to elderly cinema patrons than any other film this year, and it’s always fun when old people have good humor about getting old.
If you sit still and watch Going In Style you won’t regret it, but I wouldn’t suggest that you should pay money for it. It’s charming, but it’s lite.
Contemptor Grade: 5
Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers.