Going In Style

by Derek Deskins

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday August 10, 2017

Going In Style

It's not really anything new to be more intrigued by the premise of a film than the film itself. Interesting ideas often struggle with execution, leaving viewers with a whole lot of promise and far less in the way of satisfaction. For all intents and purposes, the appeal of "Going in Style" doesn't even go as far as its premise. A remake of a 1979 film, starring acting legends and directed by an actor turned filmmaker known predominantly for writing his own independent films, is the type of description to get many a cinephile drooling. It's just too bad that this is the result.

Joe, Al, and Willie are longtime friends who are just trying to get by in an increasingly expensive New York City. With little in the way of income, the three comrades just manage to make enough to hold down an apartment and enjoy daily visits to their favorite diner. That all changes when the company they work for is bought out and their pensions are yanked out from under them. Lucky for them, Joe has an idea that'll get rid of their money concerns as well as giving their lives a shot of adrenaline.

While "Going in Style" has its fair share of issues, casting is not one. Where the original boasted a fantastic trio of George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg, the latest incarnation answers with just as much enthusiasm, with Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, and Morgan Freeman taking over elderly duties.

The ensemble of legends, which also features Christopher Lloyd and a particularly sexually aggressive Ann-Margaret, makes the most of a script that is a special kind of mediocre.

Compounding the issue is the uninspired direction from Zach Braff who, in his first for-hire gig, shows that when he hasn't exerted the effort to actually write the script he has a hard time really caring about what he puts on screen. Gone is any kind of visual flair, supplanted by derivative larger budget tedium, and even his musical choices falter, an issue that he has never had before.

As a Blu-ray release, "Going in Style" continues its trend of mediocrity. The picture and sound is fantastic, but any kind of bonus content is lacking. There are a handful of deleted scenes that deserve little more than a shrug and a commentary from Braff that bolsters the opinion that he got lost in the world of big-budget filmmaking.

Overall, "Going in Style" is a misfire that no one asked for. It loses any of the ruminations on growing older that the original boasted, often by removing the more contemplative elements of reality, and by the end doesn't seem to know what it wants to say. This new version of "Going in Style" should be titled "Everything Will Be Fine"; at least that would be more honest.

"Going in Style"

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