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Going in Style


Stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin

In 1979 comedy stars George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg gave us a warm hearted , movie “Going in Style” this remake by director Zach Braff features Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin in roles they slip into so comfortably. The film still revolves around three elderly men who pull a bank heist in an attempt, not only to bring in some money, but to stave off the bitter edge of old age and the director a very fresh looking approach. As the film opens, Caine’s character, Joe, is battling with his New York bank, to preserve it. Facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he takes one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Five contestants emerge: a mouse, a timid elephant, a pig, a gorilla and a punk-rock porcupine. Big problems occur when a typo on which has recently tripled his mortgage payment due to a loophole. Later, he and best buddies Willie (Freeman) and Albert (Arkin) discover that the steel company they worked for is moving overseas and dissolving their pensions. So these smart well-seasoned gentlemen decide to plot their revenge, even while hiding in plain sight as the doddering oldsters everyone keeps taking them for. Continually patronised, underestimated or plainly ignored, Joe, Willie and Albert seek retribution for their financial woes and social insignificance. In the original movie much of the laughs focused on a colourful waitress but this time they cross paths with a sexy septuagenarian jazz fan (Ann-Margret), a cowardly bank executive ( Josh Pais), a sceptical law enforcement officer (Matt Dillon) and an incredulous supermarket manager (Kenan Thompson). That’s an impressive supporting cast, and they make “Going in Style” a pleasant, easygoing film. The often forced slapstick moments are well balanced with plenty of good humour. Most of those observations come by way of Albert, an amateur sax player and well-practiced grump “ Arkin” who instils his character with just enough sympathy. Caine and Freeman deliver similarly affecting, well-judged portrayals of men who are grappling with old age. “Going in Style” will never be considered a classic but, as the men who play its crafty central characters know there’s something to admire in simply getting the job done.

Rated M 7 out of 10