Going in Style review
Kids, treat the elderly well. It’s often shown through cartoons that old people are either grandparents or busy playing chess with their friends. In actuality, they are going about their days like any other, trying to make sure that they carefully budget their savings and social security checks. Money is becoming a bigger issue for them in the wake of increased inflation. This is why I’ve been sure to keep a savings going so that I can meet my goal of doing nothing. Some believe it’s the governments job to help out the elderly while some see it as a matter of personal responsibility. I’d say the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
The elderly and money is the subject of Going in Style. It’s a remake of a George Burns movie of the same name (which I haven’t seen), but I’ll assume that due to the way banking has changed after the recession and how private companies have worked with the government to play around with their funds, that this does something different. I’ll admit that when watching this, I got a vibe of Grumpy Old Men if the two decided to robe banks. So is Going in Style entertaining?
Three men have been lifelong friends and coworkers at a steel plant; Joe (played by Michael Caine), Willie (played by Morgan Freeman), and Albert (played by Alan Arkin). They seem to be content, but wish that money was not an issue. To make things harder, Joe wants to send his granddaughter Brooklyn (played by Joey King) to a better school and not lose his home to the bank. While talking to his banker, he is a witness to a bank robbery who manage to get away with a million.
When it’s announced that the steel mill was going to suspend pensions, this puts our three guys in turmoil. Joe decides to take his revenge on the bank (which happens to be working with the steel mill to remove the pensions) by robbing it. Though Willie and Albert are reluctant, they eventually agree to work together to get their money back. At firs they start small by going to a local store to shoplift a couple of items. That doesn’t go well, so Willie gets help from a family member who is shady on how to execute a successful bank robbery. In the meantime, FBI agent Hamer (played by Matt Dillon) may be following them.
Given some of the other movies focused on senior citizens like Last Vegas, I was expecting something safe and innocent. Instead, I was actually entertained by this bank-robbing story. It’s no Heat, but it’s engaging and I found myself invested in these characters. A lot of that has to do with both Michael Caine and his two buddies. They’re experienced performers and know how to sell themselves in both comedies and dramas. Though both Michael Caine and Alan Arkin remain committed, I felt that Morgan Freeman was sleepwalking. He seems to be the only character without much of a personality.
Going in Style, as I said reminded me of Grumpy Old Men so much, that I was convinced that if Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were still alive, they would probably be in this movie. It doesn’t push the boundaries of comedy, but the story makes up for it by continuing to keep the plot going after the robbery commences and managed to throw me off on how it was going to end. I like movies that keep me on my toes. If I had to pick a moment, it would be the grocery store shoplifting sequence as the highlight.
I’ll give this four Frank Sinatra masks out of five. Though it is gentle, Going in Style was both charming and fun. I think most audiences over fifty will enjoy this romp. Perhaps some young ones will like it too. Don’t be too quick to judge by age and check it out.