Going In Style

going-in-style

Am I having a senior moment?  For the life of me, I still cannot remember the name of this movie without looking it up.  I can always recall the “Going” part but then it gets muddled in a lot of different ways – “Going Out In Style”, “Going All The Way”, “Going Out On A Limb”, “Going For Broke”, and on and on.  I mention that because the first impression given by the title, i.e., generic, forgettable, and lazy, is a good summary of this film.  Along those same lines, with how generic it is I am not one bit surprised to have just discovered this is a remake of a 1979 movie starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg.  I guess I am about 65 years too young to remember that one, even though I was alive when it came out.

I think I am still about 65 years too young to find the 2017 version tolerable.  And that’s a shame for three reasons: (a) Academy Award Winner Michael Caine; (b) Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman; and (c) Academy Award Winner Alan Arkin.  I absolutely love each of those old guys.  They are endlessly charming even when they phone it in.  And they are totally phoning it in here, probably because they knew that even at 100% effort this movie would still suck.

If you absolutely have to watch this movie, you will not suffer all that much.   You may giggle once or twice and you will feel good despite your cold-hearted cynicism when [SPOILERS] they get away with the heist [/SPOILERS].

But why would you watch this shitty film when, if you want a movie about getting even with those evil banks, you could watch Hell or High Water, which just came to Netflix and is not only a fantastic film, it also has Jeff Bridges in the curmudgeonly old guy role to tick that box.

Or if you want to be charmed by Michael Caine, you could watch any movie Chris Nolan has directed in the last decade (literally).  And for an instant Caine fix while deciding which Nolan film to pull from your DVD collection, I present Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon trading Michael Caine impressions in The Trip.

Morgan Freeman?  Since you can catch him in basically any movie ever, it is almost guaranteed that you can be charmed by him in a much better film (but be sure NOT to resort to Ben-Hur).  If I had to pick only one, it would be The Shawshank Redemption – that is peak Mo-Free on display as an old criminal with a heart of gold.

Alan Arkin?  Argo and Little Miss Sunshine.  The perfect grumpy old guy double feature. It’s just so easy to find something better to watch.

That’s the problem with Going In Style.  There are so many superior options, you have to wonder why anyone even bothered, other than Caine, Freeman and Arkin who I hope got paid at least as much as their bank-robbing characters did.  See?  I can’t hold anything against those guys, not even this terrible movie.

 

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36 thoughts on “Going In Style

    1. Sean Post author

      I loved Hell or High Water too. Definitely a highlight from last year’s movies and I was so glad that it received a well-deserved Best Picture nomination.

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  1. In My Cluttered Attic

    Agreed. Like you said, Sean, I think these guys earn their money in practically anything they do (Which is why I think they did this film. But who doesn’t love getting paid, right?), and they are virtually always at their best. I saw the original and their was some great lines in that film (George Burns after peeing himelf “And now the cycle is complete.” being one of them), but there really wasn’t a need to do a remake. :O)

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    1. Sean Post author

      These three are always watchable because they’re so charismatic and they also know how to give the audience what they came to see. This movie had such a head start with the three being involved and just wasted it.

      On the remake topic, I just had a thought. If this gets remade AGAIN 30 years from now, which actors working today are most likely to pick up the torch?

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      1. In My Cluttered Attic

        An aha question, I like these! Tom Hanks—he’d still be enjoyable to watch at ninety, or even hundred. Gotta have Bill Murray—yes I know he’d be pushing ninety-six but they could start filming it now, right? And lastly, Meryl Streep, because I’m almost certain she could pull off playing a man—and it would add an extra element of interest, plus be fun to see her playing one in his mid-nineties. And instead of robbing a bank maybe they somehow manage to use the master die at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to print all the bills they’d ever need, because they then go and deposit them into a Swiss bank account and live off the interest—mind you, not that that thought has ever crossed my mind. ‘O)

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      2. Sean Post author

        I would love to see that old guy movie. Bill Murray is the best, and now that I think about it has already been playing the crotchety old guy since the 80s!

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  2. Christopher

    Every time I’ve seen a trailer for this I’ve thought, “Hey, is that a remake of that film with George Burns, Art Carney, and…that other guy?” And then as soon as it’s over I forget to go look it up. And until I read your review I really had no clue that Lee Strasberg was the third actor even though I saw the original at least three times when I was a kid.
    An older family member was a George Burns fan and we only had one TV so it’s what we watched whenever it was on. And from what I remember it was an odd film. With Burns and Carney you’d expect a comedy but there are few laughs. It’s more of a character study of three men who decide they’re not going to get old gracefully.
    With that in mind I might go back and re-watch Arkin in Catch-22, Caine in The Italian Job, and Freeman in some of those early episodes of “The Electric Company”.
    Morgan Freeman is such a great actor he’d be highly regarded if he weren’t part of a ’70’s era children’s show, but I think it’s why my generation has an extra special fondness for him.

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    1. Sean Post author

      The Electric Company! I totally forgot Morgan Freeman was in that. I was young when that show was on but loved the live-action Spider-Man parts, which unlike Freeman have probably not aged well.

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  3. tubularsock

    Thanks Sean for a great review. Tubularsock has found that when they put three named actors in a movie about “over the hill shit” well ………. you just can’t beat a dead horse or theme for that matter and have a good result. Tubularsock would prefer to sit in his old rocking chair facing a blank wall with his popcorn!

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  4. Jay

    STudios have finally realized that older people want to see themselves represented on the big screen too. Apparently they missed the memo that we all prefer these movies to be GOOD.

    As you know, I couldn’t help but be charmed by these guys. I wanted them to outsmart that damn Matt Dillon! But it was just so generic. I feel like all the funny bits were stolen from elsewhere.

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      1. Holly

        Not right now. Life, all that, but desperately trying to catch up and keep commenting on what y’all write!

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  5. Liz A.

    I was a kid when the original came out, and I do remember it. That’s the only reason I’d see this one. They got away with the heist in that one, too. But they didn’t live long enough to enjoy it for very long. (Oops, should I have said “spoiler”?)

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    1. Sean Post author

      It’s frustrating that Netflix varies so much by region. It was added in Canada within the last week (or at least that’s when I first noticed it) so hopefully you’ll get it soon!

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    1. Sean Post author

      Great reference! We enjoyed those specials immensely. Chappelle is one of the greats and of course Freeman does voiceovers, he really is in EVERYTHING.

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    1. calensariel

      Just want you to know we saw this yesterday and I laughed my keister off through the whole first part of the movie! I was right. You guys aren’t nearly old enough to appreciate the humor! 😀

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  6. Pingback: Wild Oats | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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