Going in Style

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Going in Style

Oldsters rob a bank in a genial heist movie that doesn't quite shortchange you, yet doesn't pay dividends either.

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin: The triple-whammy veteran cast that heads up this light-hearted Brooklyn-set heist caper (a remake of a largely forgotten 1979 movie starring George Burns) is just about distracting and charming enough to paper over the film’s sketchy story and low energy levels. The three play an aging trio sick of being kicked around by life in retirement. After one of them, Joe (Caine), finds himself in the middle of a bank holdup thinking he could do better, he and his friends decide to rob the Williamsburg Savings Bank. For much of the movie, the old pals plot and practice, honing the perfect alibi, while director Zach Braff (Garden State) leads us on the odd detour into each of their family or romantic lives without ever going deep.

The script by Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures) pays lip service to contemporary economic struggles, referencing the squeeze on traditional industries (all three men are former steel workers) and the breakdown of old-age financial relief and family support. But these nods to reality are just as soft as the movie’s slapstick tendencies, which include not-very-rib-tickling scenes of shoplifting, and chases involving mobility scooters. And don’t think too much about the plot; it’s about as water-tight as a corporate-pension scheme. All three stars deliver exactly what you expect from them—nothing more, nothing new—but their onscreen familiarity is a strange comfort in itself.

By: Dave Calhoun

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Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday April 7 2017
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Zach Braff
Cast: Joey King
Morgan Freeman
Michael Caine
Alan Arkin
Ann-Margret

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