Friday, April 7, 2017

Going in Style

Review by George M. Thomas

Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin in GOING IN

Another week, another remake?
That summarized the initial thought about GOING IN STYLE.  There aren’t many modern film fans who’ll recognize that the film is a remake of a George Burns (who?) comedy.
The remake shares plenty of cinematic DNA with its predecessor, but has a more daunting challenge.  Burns and co-stars Art Carney and Lee Strasburg were veterans and legends by that time.

Who could director Zach Braff get to match that pedigree?  He pulls it off by giving us three Oscar winners in Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin.

The result:  a comedy with a bit of social commentary and enough laughs to entertain.  The trio of actors deserves credit for the latter.  This material could have been tired and older than these great actors themselves.

Instead they, with some beyond able directing by Braff refresh this title. Their sense of chemistry is undeniable and their comedic timing is precise.

As three friends Willie (Freeman), Joe (Caine) and Al (Arkin) have financial problems.  A loan officer for the bank where he’s done business has ripped him off with an adjustable mortgage.  Willie’s got potentially fatal health issues and Al?  Well, he lives with Willie. ‘Nuff said.

Well, not quite.  The company where they gave the best years of their respective lives is about to screw them – royally.  The steel company is not only moving production out of the U.S., but it’s liquidating the pension fund the three friends rely.

That fact sends them into a state of panic.  More importantly, it pisses them off. What’s the best way to get what they have coming to them?  Rob the bank that is the source of their misery.
They go through some elaborate and often humorous planning to realize their goal, only to watch as things predictably go awry.  But it’s in those moments that some of Style’s best comes out.
Director Braff is known best for his role on the NBC TV series 'Scrubs' and helming the quirky little comedy GARDEN STATE.  Here he puts what he’s learned to great use and maximizes his material.
The result: GOING IN STYLE is an enjoyable comedy.

Cast: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin
Directed by: Zach Braff
Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes

Rating:  PG-13 for drug content, language and some suggestive material.

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