Remake of 1979 caper flick settles for cheap gags and unearned sentiment
GOING IN STYLE (Zach Braff). 96 minutes. Opens Friday (April 7). See listing. Rating: NN
Having veteran Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin share a screen is a pleasure in and of itself, never mind what the movie is. In the case of Going in Style, the movie ain’t much.
Remaking the 1979 caper that teamed George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg as rogue seniors who rob a bank, director Zach Braff (Garden State) and writer Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures) go for easy and obvious when it comes to gags and sentiment.
The characters fumble over touch screens and offer a running commentary on The Bachelorette. Far from grumpy old men, Caine’s Joe, Freeman’s Willie and Arkin’s Albert are kind-hearted types who take care of their own. But when they get hit with predatory mortgage rates and a frozen pension, they hatch a plot to rob a bank in Rat Pack masks.
The movie is so satisfied with its own premise that it never considers how to use this setup and its cast for a more critical, less goofy look at a senior’s frustrations with this era. But perhaps that would veer away from the feel-good froth that Freeman, Caine and especially Arkin (who makes the most of what he’s got) are tasked with here.