This week, we’ll review the 2017 heist comedy film Going in Style. Directed by Zach Braff, this film stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Ann-Margret in a remake of the original 1979 film of the same name about three older guys who have been screwed over by their bank. They’ve lost their pensions, so they decide to rob the very bank that cheated them. Comedy ensues as the three of them attempt the heist. I went into this film not really knowing what to expect. It was directed by Scrubs star Zach Braff. Now he’s making a film with themes that are a little more “studio-friendly”, and has more projects lined up. I was excited to see him working again.
Mostly, I was there for the three main actors. These guys are legends. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are in their eighties. They have been acting for a long time, and seeing these three performing together is easily the best part of the film. Their chemistry is amazing. You feel like they’ve been friends forever, which their characters have been, and so I had a pretty big grin on my face for a large portion of this film just because of these three actors, their incredible body of work, and the fact that they’re all together. They all show themselves to have a really good sense for comedy, and I found myself smiling throughout a large portion of the film. It also has two decent small minor supporting roles from other actors.
In this movie, Kenan Thompson is playing Keith, a grocery store manager, and Christopher Lloyd is playing Milton. This is a role in which Lloyd basically plays a man with the worst case of Alzheimer’s you can have, and he sold it. He was actually great. The funniest scene in the film would be the first time they try to steal something because they figure that they’re not going to be successful. They’re going to practice by doing something small scale. So, they go to a supermarket and try to steal some food to make dinner. There’s something very entertaining about watching Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin trying to steal minor produce goods. There’s a great moment where Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are staring at each other through a line of cans and have some dialogue. It was actually . . . fairly funny.
I think that critics are over-analyzing this film. This is a film made for the sixty-to-eighty demographic to the for. It’s a film that allows them to forget about their troubles and just have soft, light-hearted, easygoing fun. This film was made for the sake of having fun, and I had fun watching it even though I’m not the target demographic. I enjoyed watching these three legends on screen. Scratch that and make it “four” legends because Ann-Margret’s portrayal of Alan Arkin’s love interest was fantastic, and she’s been around for a very longtime also.
Unfortunately, once the main heist starts, I feel that the film looses some of its steam after that. But I was still interested because I did feel a connection with these characters. But the film does taper down some in regards to the entertainment value. The film follows a lot of the basic character tropes that you would expect from a film like this. Some older people are losing their pensions and plan to stick it to the man. They have families to care for. One of them is sick. An older man’s having a really romantic fling and all of a sudden he feels like a kid again.
This is all of the stuff you would kind of expect. You’ve seen these tropes before, but they’re handled in a way that’s respectful and simply enjoyable. As I said, this is a lighthearted and very easygoing film that would definitely entertain you, even if it came on at one o’clock on Wednesday afternoon it was raining outside and you had nothing better to do. I could see this film entertaining you.
So all in all, I very much enjoyed myself with Going In Style. These three actors have incredible chemistry with one another, there’s really nothing to expect beyond some lighthearted and fun jokes, and I found myself laughing and having a good time. So as such, I’m going to give this remake film a score of 4 out of 5.