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.