PG-13 Dir: Zach Braff | Warner | 1h 36min
Plot: What’s it about?
When I saw the ads for Going in Style, I had no idea that it was a remake. I didn’t have a lot of hope for this film anyhow, but it turns out to be a perfectly entertaining, albeit somewhat predictable film. I do think at some point down the road that I’ll check out the original film if for no other reason than comparison sake.
After receiving a letter in the mail informing him that his pension is essentially useless, Joe (Michael Caine) decides to take matters into his own hands. The opening of the film finds Joe at a bank where he learns that he might soon lose his home since he’s gone into overdraft. Then, a pair of bank robbers enter the bank, but go easy on Joe when they learn of his situation. His daughter and granddaughter live with him, so if he becomes homeless, that will be bad for all parties concerned. He concocts a plan to rob a bank with the help of his pals, Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin), who are also having financial and health issues as well. It takes some convincing to bring Albert on board, but eventually he agrees. The three of them all have a mutual understanding that they won’t take more than what their pension amount would’ve been. We see them doing some early practice by trying to rob a local grocery store. They aren’t successful, but the store manager goes easy on them. Next, they enlist the help of a friend who has some info into how to rob a bank. They promise him 25% if he agrees to help them.
In truth, the basic plot outline for Going in Style is more than a little generic, but it’s the execution and the colorful cast of characters that propels the material. The three leads all seem to be enjoying themselves, and the film moves along quickly that we don’t mind some of the more familiar elements with the plot. The robbery itself doesn’t occur until the second half of the picture, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had all throughout. We get a few small subplots and some interesting side characters as well. It’s just one of those films where you can turn your brain off for some 90 minutes and enjoy yourself. It might be a remake, but it feels like a breath of fresh air compared to what floods the market these days. It’s more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, but it entertains and keeps us with it. Give it a rental.
Video: How’s it look?
I’ll say that I thought I’d have the usual comments regarding the video here, but it’s not quite up to par with more recent titles. It’s never bad, mind you, but just not as sharp as I’m used to. Really, most viewers might not even notice, but after reviewing so many films, I get a bit picky. Details and all are fine, but I just think there could’ve been a bit more sharpness to some scenes. Still, it mostly satisfies. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.39:1 ratio.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is about as you’d expect, really. Vocals are fine and there’s a nice clarity to it. There’s some music during a few scenes that pops. Also, the robbery sequences add to the track as well. We get some nice background noise when characters are out and about in the busy city. All things considered, this track serves the film as it should.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Director Zach Braff has been behind the camera before and it shows. His commentary is actually surprisingly informative and articulate. They clearly had a fun time making this film and with such seasoned actors, it seemed like a good time all around.
- Deleted Scenes – Sadly, those included don’t really offer much to the film, hence why they ended up on the cutting room floor.
The Bottom Line
Sure, it’s a bit generic and by the numbers, but it’s also a lot of fun as well. The cast helps elevate the material here as well. At the very least, it deserves a rental.