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article imageReview: ‘Going in Style’ has considerable flair Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 8, 2017 in Entertainment
‘Going in Style’ is a highly enjoyable comedy featuring three awesomely talented actors benefitting from years of experience.
There’s an intriguing phenomenon occurring in Hollywood at the moment: a generation of accomplished, acclaimed actors and filmmakers are getting old. In spite of being over the traditional age of retirement, they are still flourishing and working well into their 70s, 80s and even 90s. However, in order for them to do so, the types of narratives being told had to mature with them. Consequently, there has been a perceptible increase in the number of films made featuring older protagonists — the trick is to make them appeal to all ages. The latest in this series of films is Going in Style.
Willie, Joe and Albert (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, respectively) have been friends for nearly three decades, having worked most of their lives together at the steel mill. But they’ve recently found themselves in a financial bind since they stopped receiving their pension cheques. While at the bank to contest the impending seizure of his house, Joe becomes a hostage in an armed robbery by some very polite, masked thieves. Desperate and out of options, he suggests to his two friends they should consider doing the same — take back what they’re owed from the corporate crooks that took it. With less than 30 days to plan and lacking the skills to even carry out a successful heist at a grocery store, they recruit a professional lowlife to show them the ropes. Then it’s just a matter of not getting caught.
This is essentially the senior’s version of Ocean’s Eleven, but featuring an inexperienced crew rather than a group of career delinquents. However, in spite of being a smaller team, the three actors match their counterparts in talent and wit combined. Arkin, unsurprisingly, plays the cynic of the group and he does so flawlessly. His curmudgeonly resistance to the idea and outright protest in one instance is a constant source of humour. Caine is the charming dreamer who must persuade his companions they can pull off the robbery… and that, if caught, they won’t be in much worse a position than they are now. Freeman is Caine’s charismatic equal, but is a much more private individual. Christopher Lloyd also has a memorable supporting role as another of their amusingly forgetful friends. With this cast, it looks like director Zach Braff’s job was easy; moreover, the veteran actors appear to be having a great time on screen — an experience that turns out to be contagious for the audience.
The actual robbery and planning takes place in the last act, which leaves a lot of time to get to know these characters and the reasons for them to take such a significant risk — the realities of which are made apparent in the hours and days following the heist. But leading up to the big day, they have playful conversations with the waitress (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) at their favourite diner, experiment with marijuana and spend time with their loved ones, including Al’s new girlfriend (Ann-Margret). Containing the whole story to 96 minutes means the film moves at a decent pace and no one scenes is stretched to an uncomfortable length. The result is a fun and entertaining night at the movies with a few of our favourite actors.
Director: Zach Braff
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin
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