BWW Review: GOING IN STYLE at Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas

BWW Review: GOING IN STYLE at Palace Nova Eastend CinemasReviewed by Libby Drake, Thursday 20th April 2017

Joe, Willie and Albert decide to rob a bank but Going in Style is no ordinary heist movie. Joe, Willie and Albert are all around 80 years old.

All three men worked for a steel mill, from which they now draw a pension in their retirement, but the mill has recently been bought out, production moved to Vietnam, and the pension scheme dissolved. To add to this financial nightmare, Joe (Michael Caine) was sold a bank mortgage that had a clause enabling his repayments to be trebled, and he is now on the verge of losing his house. His daughter and grand-daughter have moved in with him, so that they can afford a better school for the 14-year-old. Joe can't let them down by losing the house.

Joe goes to the bank to try to sort out his mortgage and, while he is there he, witnesses a highly professional bank robbery. When he finds out that his bank is assisting the wind-down of the steel company, he hits upon the daring method of reclaiming the funds that he and his friends have lost. He reasons, "These banks practically destroyed this country and nothing ever happened to them. Lets go get our money back!" If they are caught', then they will be guaranteed a bed, three meals a day, and better medical care than they have as free men. It's a no lose situation.

Set in New York, Going in Style is loosely based on the 1979 film of the same name, which starred George Burns. Only the basic concept, however, is used, and the plot develops into a very different story.

Morgan Freeman cruises effortlessly through his role as Willie, who is keeping a secret from his friends. Alan Arkin is fun as Albert, who is wooed and won, against his will, by the lonely Annie (Ann-Margret). The stand-out is probably Michael Caine who, as Joe, is the central character in the story. Matt Dillon plays a detective whom Joe first meets after witnessing the robbery.

The three men, all such experienced and capable actors, are not greatly tested in their roles and glide through them with ease. We know very little about the characters beyond their current financial situation. We meet the daughters and grand-daughters of Joe and Willie, and discover that Albert was a saxophone player, but there is no explanation for their being single, or why they are living where they are.

Director Zach Braff's film moves at a reasonable pace, except for a few drawn out scenes. There are plenty of good laughs and these, combined with the moments of tension, make for entertaining viewing. The disappointing thing about the film is that the justification for robbing the bank is rather thin. They were not robbing the organisation that did them down, which would have made for much more engaging viewing. Who doesn't love a good bit of revenge? But this wasn't about getting revenge, it was more along the lines of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich to give to the poor.

This is a formulaic movie with very few surprises and it falls short of the potential offered by the premise and the cast, however, it boasts a string of top quality actors and provides good, unchallenging entertainment.

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