Going in Style

Overall:  This film was enjoyable and its nice to see acting veterans ply their trade. Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) are three buddies who spent a lifetime working together in a manufacturing factory and live across the street from each other in Queens. They’ve all retired and are collecting their pensions.

However, the money flow has stopped and the bank wants to foreclose on Joe’s home. At the time, Joe’s daughter and granddaughter Brooklyn (Joey King) are living with him and he’s afraid to let them down as well as himself.

Albert and Willie are living together and have an interesting and supportive relationship. However Willie has a kidney problem that he’s not told his buddies’ about and he finds out that if he doesn’t get a transplant soon, he’s going to die soon.

They are all going broke so they decide to rob the very bank that has Joe’s mortgage and is managing the refinancing the sale and closure of the factory. They practice by robbing a local grocery store and it is hilarious. The stuffing of food in their jackets and pants followed by the getaway Joe and Willie make in an electric scooter and Al trying to out run a younger man lasting about 100 feet and gives up is very funny.

Donning Rat Pack masks they rob the bank of enough money to cover their pensions. Pursing them is FBI Special Agent Hammer (Matt Dillon) who suspects the three men and builds up a solid case. However, the guys have done their homework and have their stories and alibies down pat. The clincher comes during a line up when a little girl, who recognizes Willie, decides to protect him.

This film is about loyalty, connection, and family. To this end, it is very good as it has small side stories that make it work. There’s the story about how Willie gets his kidney, how the grumpy Albert gets involved with an admirer named Annie (Ann Margaret). The lodge buddy’s, Milton (Christopher Lloyd), odd view of the world. And finally, Jesus (John Ortiz) who shows these old guys the ropes to rob the bank.

Caine was wonderful, and my favorite scene was when he got angry and gave Jesus a piece of his mind. I could see the how Caine’s real and documented difficult scrappy upbringing was used to make this scene effective. I wouldn't want to mess with him. Freeman was gracefully effective as the selfless friend. He supports and takes care of Albert and doesn’t bother anyone with his critical kidney issue. He effectively portrayed his longing to see more of his daughter and granddaughter. Arkin is perfectly cast as the grumpy curmudgeon of the three. He’s the downer guy and doesn’t want his world mussed up much, however, when he’s in, he’s a force and gives it his all. Loved his interactions with Annie his admirer. King was fantastic as Joe’s granddaughter by being interesting, loving, and engaged making her grandfather proud. Margret was amazing as the woman who sees past Albert’s gruff exterior and wants to create something more. Ortiz was strong as the guy who teaches the “rat pack” how to rob the bank. Dillon was very good as the agent who knows who the robbers were and tries to build a case against them. Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Mitzi their favorite waitress was superb. She embodied the part perfectly. Theodore Melfi wrote a really good script and screenplay. Zach Braff had a great handle on the actors and screenplay. I think he knew exactly what he wanted and got everyone engaged to his vision.

Overall:  Although I think there could have been more laughs, this film was lighthearted and very enjoyable.