Going In Style stars Caine, Freeman and Arkin as three would-be bank robbers, seen here training. (MGM photo)

Going In Style stars Caine, Freeman and Arkin as three would-be bank robbers, seen here training. (MGM photo)

Reel Reviews: Pensioners do it with style

Joe convinces his old friends to rob the bank to spend their remaining days Going In Style

When their former employer moves to Asia, they liquidate their pension fund to pay back their debtors, such as the bank. This leaves retirees Al (Alan Arkin), Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Joe (Michael Caine) with no pension income. When the very same bank threatens to foreclose Joe’s mortgage because he can no longer make payments, Joe convinces his old friends to rob the bank so that they might spend their remaining days Going In Style.

We say, “Going In Style is so tidy it stands out.”

TAYLOR: Most Hollywood movies offer you a plot where something happens that some characters don’t know about until three quarters of the way through the film, at which point something must be done, usually accompanied by dramatic music. While Going In Style uses such devices, it does so with a surprising tidiness worthy of mention. I don’t know if this successful execution is the result of editing, script-writing, directing prowess, or just dumb luck, but we can all enjoy the results.

HOWE: These are the hidden gems of the movie business that I really enjoy. There is no big fanfare, no sticking the trailer on TV six months before it’s released, or critics saying it’s the best movie of the year so far. What you have with Going in Style is a great story line, some fantastic actors that give moving performances, and a somewhat believable plot. The chemistry between these three old-timers is something to be admired. I know they have been around the block a few times, but their acting skills shine through on the screen. It really did appear that they were enjoying themselves.

TAYLOR: I saw the original when I was a little boy, probably on HBO, back when we used to get it for free in Armstrong from the repeater. It starred Art Carney, George Burns, and Lee Strasberg as the would-be bank robbers. I can’t remember all the details, but I’m sure this new version has the characters motivated by current affairs. The man we wish to stick it to in both instances is the banker, but in modern tales we also hate the government for bailing out the banker. There’s not any ground being broken in Going In Style other than its abbreviation of the standard plot formats. However, I still enjoyed watching this film, as did my wife, and rest of the audience on Sunday afternoon.

HOWE: If you want to see something a little different, a little bit of class acting, or if you’re just sick of dirty, lewd, innuendo type comedies, then you can’t go wrong with Going In Style. It’s one of the best movies of the year so far.

Taylor gives Going In Style 4 hidden jokes out of 5.

Howe gives it 4 red letters out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday.