This review was written by Anthony J Digioia. Follow him and his website here for more awesome reviews: SilverScreen Analysis
“Going in Style” stars; Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. It’s directed by Zach Braff and written by Theodore Melfi who wrote and directed “Hidden Figures”.
This story follows; Willie, Joe, and Albert, three lifelong friends who discover their pensions have been dissolved by the company they spent decades working for. One day Joe goes to the bank to discuss the foreclosure of his home and when it is robbed by three masked men, he gets an idea.
He tells his friends Willie & Albert his idea, and they initially laugh him off but left with no other options to pay their bills, the three men in their 80’s, will begin to devise a plan to rob the same bank that took their hard-earned money.
First, I will tell you this film delivers what the trailer shows. If you found it amusing then you will find this film enjoyable. If old man humor and simple story-lines are not your thing then this may be a pass for you. I happened to enjoy it though and found it very entertaining to sit back and watch these three Hollywood legends work together.
I will say one of the best things about this movie was the effort they all put into their roles and the believable chemistry they all shared. I mean it’s Freeman, Caine and Arkin, yet during this film they truly felt like Willie, Joe, and Albert the characters they portrayed, and it made the simple story much more engaging.
They also all had their moments to deliver some comedic moments, and it was effective in generating some laughs. Sure, the old-man humor was the show-runner but it was still impactful and with some strong natural dialogue, plenty of physical humor, and funny scenarios, there was more than enough amusement to go around.
Now yes there were some moments of forced humor, not many, but it was easy to look past given the amazing actors that were delivering the material. It was just fun to just sit back and watch these guys embrace their age, relish in their time together, and try to accomplish the impossible, and it makes you root for their success despite the implausibility of it all.
There were also a great group of side-characters to help fill the run-time. Ann-Margaret was a nice addition, Matt Dillon comes in and makes the most out of a cut-and-paste role. John Ortiz was also a great choice in the casting, with some subtle but comical moments. The great Christopher Lloyd, comes in as the fun, albeit stereotypical, senile old man. And last but certainly not least Kenan Thompson comes if with some very entertaining comic-relief as well.
Add all that with a fun story and you have a film that is routine at times, but definitely entertaining throughout. The script adds some more emotional moments, that luckily do keep from feeling melodramatic, and it gave the story a good balance in tone. But the focus was the comedy and the more lighthearted tone, and it was for the better.
Theodore Melfi’s writing was enjoyable, the dialogue felt natural to the different characters. Zack Braff’s direction does come off as simple, but he delivers a strong impact with his subtle techniques. Braff added some nice scene intro’s and transitions that aren’t glaring but still make for a nice addition when added with a musical score that also generated some hilarity to the overall package.
This one was not perfect, but for what it wanted to accomplish I would say it was successful. For the demographic, it’s targeted for it will certainly entertain. The story it wanted to tell was an entertaining one and adds some nice twists and it’s worth a watch, and not simply just for the fun charisma of Freeman, Caine and Arkin.