Going in Style – Film Review by Emily Elphinstone
Director: Zach Braff
Writers: Theodore Melfi (screenplay), Edward Cannon (based on the 1979 story by)
Stars: Joey King, Morgan Freeman, Ann-Margret |
There has been a trend in cinema for some time of taking retired or (dare we say) elderly characters out of their comfort zones, and putting them through their paces. From The Bucket List and Last Vegas, to Red and Red 2; the old guard are being given a new lease of life. More often than not these films involve Morgan Freeman; but the end results have been disappointingly (though somewhat unsurprisingly) mixed.
This time Zach Braff (Garden State, Wish I Was Here) takes the reigns; working solely as Director for the first time, rather than also writing/starring in the film. Going in Style stars Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin; as three retired steel-workers who find themselves destitute after their pensions are cancelled overnight, and mortgage repayments soar. After Joe (Caine) witnesses a bank robbery, the trio plot a heist to reclaim the money they’ve lost, and get revenge on the bank behind it all. Though Going In Style is an adaptation of a 1979 film of the same name; its themes of lost pensions, and big banks feels undeniably current.
With a largely unoriginal bank robbery plot at its heart, Going In Style could have been just another old-timer comedy; but with a script by Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures) and great characterisation, it is surprisingly enjoyable. Freeman, Caine, and Arkin have an utterly believable chemistry; and with a supporting cast including the delicious Ann-Margret (Grumpy Old Men, Bye-Bye Birdie) as a flirtatious convenience store worker, Matt Dillon as a police detective, and Christopher Lloyd as a senile friend; the film has genuine personality. There may be relatively few unexpected twists in this comedy caper, but there is an irrepressible spirit and humour nonetheless; which make it impossible not to root for these unlikely villains.