Going in Style
Two and a half stars
Director: Zach Braff
Starring: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin
Running time: 96 minutes
Verdict: Grey-powered crowd-pleaser
MICHAEL Caine has pulled off a number of successful screen heists in his 60-odd years as an actor.
He gets away with this one by the skin of his teeth - and only because he's an old pro.
It helps that Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin have been cast as his partners in crime.
Unfortunately, Ann-Margret winds up as collateral damage in an offensively-underwritten role as a sexually-active septuagenarian.
Caine's working class retiree, who comes up with a foolhardy plan to hold up the bank that has robbed him blind, is enriched by the ghosts of his cinematic past.
Arkin's cranky comic delivery is pitch-perfect.
And most people would listen to Freeman read a phone book - which is just as well, because the screenplay for Going In Style is almost as formulaic.
The seasoned cast, however, work every angle they can find to breathe life into these three old codgers who have known each other for most of their lives.
Their relationships are credible, even if the heist itself is not.
Funded by a fairly meagre pension, retirees Joe (Caine), Willie (Freeman) and Albert (Arkin) are living a hand-to-mouth existence.
When the company they worked for for more than 30 years moves off shore, thus relieving itself of its obligations to provide financial support for its former workers, destitution seems imminent.
Adding to Joe's woes is the dodgy mortgage he has been sold.
After tripling his repayments overnight, the bank is threatening foreclosure on the house he shares with his daughter and granddaughter.
With less than a month to turn his financial situation around, highway robbery seems like the only answer.
Helped by an expert, Joe and his mates skill up - turning themselves into professional criminals in 20-something days (Don't worry, no one's really buying the bank job.)
Audiences hankering for a slick, big name crime caper should probably hold out for Ocean's Eight, with Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock.
If you're after a heist movie that seriously address issues of social justice, then Hell Or High Water is your pick.
Going Out In Style, a remake of the 1979 movie starring George Burns, Art Carney and Les Strasberg, is the cinematic equivalent of a good quality pair of slippers, now so well worn that they don't have any tread left.
It's comfy, familiar, and trading on an established reputations.
Going Out In Style is now screening (opened April 20)
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