Going In Style: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman & Alan Arkin


Remake of 1979 film of the same name

Stars: Michael Caine (Joe), Morgan Freeman (Willie), Alan Arkin (Albert)

Directed by Zach Braff

Going in Style is a heist comedy film with heart. It is a remake of the 1979 film starring George Burns. It also provides social commentary of the times; the plight of the working class person and; society’s forgotten elderly population. The film co-stars the zany Christopher Lloyd in an unforgettable role and the always gorgeous Ann-Margret. The film is rated PG-13 and opens on Friday, 7 April 2017.

The following is a commentary about the film based on the screening dated Thursday, 30 March 2017.

Joe, Willie and Albert are best friends who discover that the steel company they worked for over 30 years was cancelling their pension. They were told by the steel company executive it was due to restructuring and moving operations to Vietnam. In truth, as they learned in the media, the company was cancelling everyone’s pension to pay off their own debts.

Joe has more worries when he receives a “yellow” envelop from the bank. He was also in danger of losing his home too. When he meets with the banker who sold him the worthless mortgage, he is told to wait for the “red” envelop, then he would only have 30 days to pay or vacate. Joe worries for his family. He was supporting his daughter and grand daughter. Losing the house would put all of them in serious jeopardy. The banker ignores Joe’s concerns.

Meanwhile…three robbers in feline masks walk into the bank and fires off machine gun rounds. Everyone at the bank are forced to assume a feline position, with their hands and legs up in the air, while tellers are forced to load cash into bags. Joe and the banker assume the feline position too, but Joe is having a difficult time due to cramps. The banker becomes agitated of being robbed and draws attention to himself.

One of the robbers approach to investigate the commotion. He becomes annoyed at the vocal banker and tells him to be quiet. He also notices Joe having a difficult time and releases him from holding the position.

Joe hands the robber the yellow envelop received from the bank. The robber was all too familiar with the envelop and sympathises with Joe, acknowledging that greedy institutions rob the hard working. Joe then hands over his wallet and tells the robber to “Take it,” it was all he had. The robber refuses, making a statement that we in society are responsible for the elderly. The robber then turns to the banker and steals his wallet and cash, knowing all too well that the banker was responsible for Joe’s financial predicament.

The robbers make an exit and warn everyone not to call the police, since shootouts never end well. The banker relieves himself due to the stress.

The audience gets a close up expression of Joe’s face…a smile….a recognition….a brilliant thought…a plan….

The rest of the film could be summarized as Ocean’s 11 meets Now You See Me. The music sounds familiar too, as if we heard it before. The montage of the actual planning of the heist is brilliant. It will draw the audience in, as we see the three besties timing their moves, taking surveillance photos and getting in shape.

Even more impressive is what is revealed to the audience later in the film, when Joe and Albert are brought down to the police station and questioned by an over zealous and pompous detective played by Matt Dillion, whilst Willie provides his “cover story” to the FBI agent.

The audience will want to stick around for the finale. Anyone who has seen the George Burns’ version knows that no crime goes unpunished, even if you are robbing the bank that is helping to dissolve your pension. In this latest version, Joe, Willie and Albert’s humanity, humour and decency will get you to root for their success in the end. You don’t want to miss it!


The man in the feline mask


©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne