Stand Up Guys

First Hit:  Very enjoyable to watch acting pros work.

Val (Al Pacino) is getting out of prison after spending 28 years behind bars. His best friend and running mate “Doc” (Christopher Walken) is there to pick him up.

We quickly figure out Doc has to kill Val because he killed mob boss Claphands' (Mark Margolis) son during a job many years ago. Killing Val is about revenge. Because Doc has until 10:00 AM the next day to kill Val, Doc and Val go out and have some fun.

One of the decisions they make is to rescue the one other member from their earlier days. This third member is Hirsch (Alan Arkin) who was their driver on the jobs they use to pull. The overall camaraderie between the 3 guys is amazing as they make their way through the night doing things they want to do together.

The scenes in the diner with Alex (Addison Timlin) are precious. Yes, there are scenes that are predictable but the way Walken, Pacino and Arkin work the script, their experience as great actors’ is evident.

There are truly funny parts through the snappy and wonderful delivery of the script and it revolves around a believable heartfelt story of friendship.

Walken is superb as an aging crook who is trying to find a little peace in his life by doing right especially to his granddaughter. Pacino gives the best performance in years in this film. Arkin continues his streak of great performances in the past couple years. Margolis is solid as the unforgiving no nonsense crime boss. Lucy Punch as Wendy the Madame at the house of prostitution was a perfect choice as the daughter of the original Madame. She was witty, fun and business like all in one. Timlin was sublime as Walken’s granddaughter. Julianna Margulies plays Hirsch’s daughter Nina and makes the very most of this small role. She is what you focus on when she says her lines. Noah Haidle wrote a fun although, at times, predictable script. Fisher Stevens directed these excellent veteran actors with aplomb.

Overall:  A totally enjoyable film because you watch excellent actors doing what they do best.