Review: ‘Going In Style’ Infuses Exquisite Actors With Mediocre Comedy
“Going in Style” has an outstanding cast that overshadows its simplicity.
With rising bills and the loss of their pensions, “Going in Style” tells the story of three elderly people ready to risk it all. Reasoning that they are at the tail end of their lives with nothing to lose, they decide it’s worth the risk to alleviate their debt by robbing a bank. As they begin to plan for this heist, they find that this task is a lot more difficult due to their age.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2.5
Much of the critique of “Going in Style” comes from the simplicity of the plot. There is not much expansion upon the concise synopsis nor is there any justification for expanding further. All three acts come in systematic fashion starting with establishing their motive, followed by the execution, and finally the facing the consequences. The lighthearted events in between do provide some amusement but “Going in Style” is undeniably a cookie-cutter film.
Amidst the simplicity, the performances from Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin were exceptionally delightful. While they played to the elderly theme accompanied by respective dialogue, they owned their roles with strong chemistry between them. Watching these three seasoned, Academy Award winning actors sharing scenes and dialogue together overshadows many of this film’s shortcomings. Michael Caine carries the emotional weight of the film while Alan Arkin counters with stoic humor. Morgan Freeman is balanced somewhere in between establishing some momentary humor and heartfelt family values.
While “Going in Style” touts big name actors with Zach Braff in the director’s chair, it lacks depth. Unlike the massively well received “Garden State,” this film strays far from the genuinely charismatic signature of Zach Braff. Things felt too “by the book” making “Going in Style” feel closer to comfort food than a delectable experience. Through conventional means this film satisfied my hunger but left me not fully satisfied.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
General audiences should find solace in this film’s enjoyable yet cut-and-dry premise. As a comedy I cannot recollect a particular moment that had me laughing, but I did chuckle throughout. The characters are simple yet delightful which is mostly due to the actors portraying them. The casting choices are perfect for quickly gaining audience approval.
Despite this being a bank heist film, there is not as much action as you would think. About two thirds of the film relies upon conversations between the three main characters establishing their friendship, family life, and personal hardships. But while much of the film is inundated with conversation, these moments of dialogue were enjoyable and carried purpose. The true fun begins once the planning and execution of the heist takes place. A majority of the laughs can be found in the planning phase of the robbery. Upstanding, elderly citizens preparing mentally and physically for a high stakes heist carries the typical humor one would expect. And while much of the film is predictable, there are a few minor surprises that brought “Going in Style” full circle.
Re-Watchability – 2.5
“Going in Style” is a simple film that can be revisited during intermittent, casual moments. There is nothing particularly outstanding about the film, but I would not be opposed to giving this film another go while channel surfing or streaming.
- Entertainment Value
"Going in Style" brings together actors we love in a film that's acceptable. The chemistry between Caine, Freeman, and Arkin is delightful but the film lacks the heart we'd expect from "Garden State's" Zach Braff.
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