Going in Style, C
Rated PG-13, 96 minutes
Something age better with time, except needless movie remakes. The new comedy "Going in Style" isn't really new, but a remake of a much-better 1979 heist comedy with George Burns and Art Carney. This likable, predictable piece of fluff is beneath the talents of its crusty lead actors, who seem content in turns that are as take-the-money-and-run as their characters are about robbing a bank.
Lifelong buddies Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) become an unfortunate casualty of the American system when their pension checks are frozen. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three men risk it all by embarking on a daring adventure to knock off a bank.
Directed by "Scrubs" lead actor Zach Braff with a script from "Hidden Figures" writer and director Theodore Melfi, "Going in Style" is a pleasant but forgettable heist comedy whose best moments come in the trailers for the film. It's much more content with an unrealistic plot: developing and executing a heist in three weeks with three nearly-eightysomethings who can barely make it through the buffet line, not to mention a dreadfully happy, contrived ending that ties all together in such a neat way.
Admittedly, it's nice seeing Oscar-winners Freeman, Caine and Arkin together, and without them, "Going in Style" would be much worse - which is saying something given Melfi's surprisingly lackluster script and Braff's bland direction. All three get in a few good lines here and there, with Arkin the most memorable ("I think this corn is from World War II" he cracks), who also gets to share a love scene of sorts with a still lovely Ann-Margret.
There's no doubting the motivation of the old men, who've been robbed of their financial security by an unscrupulous financial organization, but I just simply couldn't buy into the fact these three could pull something like this off so quickly and so efficiently. One bright spot in this version is "Back to the Future's" Christopher Lloyd, who steals every scene he's in just by standing there: watch him flip some corn in the buffet line without saying a word.
"Going in Style" is a forgettable, mediocre comedy that won't rank high on the resumes of any involved, and while I enjoyed seeing them together, they needed better material to truly pull this one off.