April will be a quiet month at the movies. It’s an anomaly this year because we just experienced a barrage of Spring blockbusters (Kong, Beauty and the Beast, Power Rangers, Logan) and once May hits, there will be a major action flick every single weekend. The biggest release of April will be Fate of the Furious. I suppose this may be the month to save your money for everything coming this Summer.
This leads us to the weekend’s release of Going in Style, which is a remake of the 1979 caper starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. In the much more light-hearted update, we have Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin playing their respective roles.
Going in Style tells the story of three old pensioners who have to face reality as their former employer takes away their retirement funds. After witnessing a bank heist, Joe (Caine) enlists his reluctant friends and comes up with a plan to rob a bank as well.
From the outside, this seems to fit along with Last Vegas and The Bucket List in the mildly humorous old guy movie genre. So it comes as a surprise to see Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State) in the directorial role. While he may be an inconsistent director when it comes to quality, his projects have a certain feel that is bolstered by dialogue and soundtrack. The soundtrack does have a rat pack caper vibe and livens up the movie whenever Otis Redding or Dean Martin are prominently heard.
There are a few surprisingly hilarious moments, like these three men giving their commentary while watching The Bachelor. These characters aren’t written as if they’re trying to play it too young and hip. Instead, they’re probably more crotchety and aged than the actors actually are. Unfortunately, these moments of character establishing magic are few and far between.
At 96 minutes, there’s some fun to be had, but the project feels very safe. I would have loved to see this as a dark comedy with a fair amount of risk involved. Instead, it’s a light-hearted movie that ventures to fluff territory.
Wait for this one on rental. You’ll be able to appreciate the slow pace and maybe take a nap in the middle. C+