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Going in Style

There’s nothing better than seeing veteran actors go through their paces. Whilst occasionally the scripts they’re given may not be totally amazing, their emotional gravitas and skills are able to make their performances watchable. ‘Going in Style’ is a good example. A remake of a 1979 George Burns film, it’s an amiable, breezy ride whose pleasure is viewing three thespians strut their stuff. Age has no limit on talent with all involved having a good time in a very genial comedy.

Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) are three friends living out their retirement. When their cherished pension funds are wiped out during a banking calamity, they become distraught. Needing money to enjoy their remaining years, they take matters in their own hands. Deciding to rob the bank that lost their cash, they plot a perfect heist. Unfortunately none of them know how to handle a gun let alone robbing places, making their job harder until the fateful day arrives.

‘Going in Style’ is an easy-going and light-hearted time-waster with fine performances. Under Zack Braff’s steady direction, the creaky plot is enlivened by a brisk pace and gentle humour. There’s nothing particularly startling here in terms of the comedy although it manages a few genuine chuckles. It’s the actors that audiences want to see who are all uniformly excellent. You wouldn’t expect any less from Freeman, Caine and Arkin, whose comic timing and chemistry successfully highlights their character’s life-long friendship.

Their presence aids in making their roles fully dimensional. How they cope with modern life and the greed of banks is something to which many can relate. It’s interesting how financial institutions are the new enemy for which movie producers appear to be aiming. The ‘little guy against the big, bad corporation’ motif is given another work-out here. This suits the material with the agreeable script effectively conveying the fears the trio have for their futures and family.

‘Going in Style’ is aimed at a certain audience and sticks with a proven formula. It works mostly due to the solid acting and focussed story. The growing market for more ‘mature-aimed’ films has seen some fine work produced, of which ‘Going in Style’ is one in its own stylish way.

Rating out of 10: 7

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