Not grumpy old men yet

Michael Caine and Mor­gan Free­man cre­ate movie magic in Now You See Me, writes David Ger­main

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

MICHAEL Caine and Mor­gan Free­man shared only fleet­ing screen time in the now-con­cluded Bat­man tril­ogy.

The two Os­car-win­ning ac­tors share such a warm, re­laxed ca­ma­raderie, it’s a shame they didn’t get to show more of it in those films.

Caine and Free­man do ap­pear in the new crime thriller Now You See Me, in which they col­lab­o­rate on what they prom­ise will be a ‘‘re­ally good scene’’.

Still, the 80-year-old Caine and 76-year-old Free­man are two of the most per­son­able older ac­tors in Hol­ly­wood and de­serve a full-blown buddy movie of their own, a rare thing for ac­tors their age. So we asked them to pitch a story – and with no ad­vance thought, they hit on a premise with as much po­ten­tial as most other movies com­ing out of Hol­ly­wood.

‘‘Just off the top of my head, two re­tired de­tec­tives,’’ Free­man says. ‘‘Yeah. Two re­tired de­tec­tives,’’ Caine adds. ‘‘That would be great, wouldn’t it? And a case came up, and ev­ery­body let it go by, and th­ese two old guys said, wait a minute . . . ’’ Free­man: ‘‘Wait a minute . . . ’’ Caine: ‘‘Re­mem­ber when we were 35?’’ Free­man: ‘‘We wouldn’t ever let up on that case.’’ Caine: ‘‘And then they would get back into it and then you could have a great deal of com­edy with us try­ing to work out com­put­ers and how to get in­for­ma­tion.’’ Free­man: ‘‘Check­ing peo­ple on Face­book ...’’ Caine: ‘‘Try­ing to find Google ...’’ Free­man: ‘‘Say­ing, ‘wait, let me call my great­grand­daugh­ter and ask her’.’’

Caine and Free­man em­body how to have a mean­ing­ful movie ca­reer when al­most ev­ery­one else your age is play­ing crazy old coots or has given up and gone home. In Christopher Nolan’s Bat­man tril­ogy, they both play pa­ter­nal fig­ures to wealthy or­phan Bruce Wayne. They’re smart, well-crafted roles with a lot more warmth and depth than the usual sup­port­ing parts in an ac­tion movie.

‘‘I’m amazed at the stuff I get to do now. I just did a ro­man­tic part with Vir­ginia Mad­sen ( The Magic of Belle Isle),’’ Free­man says.

‘‘I mean, I didn’t know it was ro­man­tic, but it was. It did turn out that way. And I’m just like, hey, life isn’t over yet.’’

Caine and Free­man think back to such geezer pair­ings as Jack Lem­mon and Wal­ter Matthau or Ge­orge Burns, Art Car­ney and Lee Stras­berg in the crime romp Go­ing in Style.

Shot on rea­son­able bud­gets, such movies can still find older au­di­ences and earn their money back, they say.

‘‘There was a thing that I read in an Amer­i­can news­pa­per, and it said there’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary thing go­ing on,’’ Caine says.

‘‘Older peo­ple are go­ing back to the movies. They’re fed up with sit­ting watch­ing TV. They go out, and they go and see a movie, and they have some din­ner and go home. And that is true, be­cause th­ese pic­tures we’re do­ing now, 10 years ago they might go to DVD or TV, but they get to theatres now and get an au­di­ence.’’

Still to come, Free­man co-stars with Robert De Niro and Michael Dou­glas in the geri­atric bach­e­lor party com­edy Last Vegas. Caine has the ti­tle role in Mr Mor­gan’s Last Love, a drama he re­cently shot with Gil­lian An­der­son and Cle­mence Poesy.

And Free­man and Caine like the sound of that re­tired buddy cop idea they pitched.

Note to in­ter­ested stu­dio ex­ec­u­tives: Caine and Free­man’s agents are stand­ing by.

Now You See Me opens to­day.

Mor­gan Free­man as magic de­bunker Thad­deus Bradley in Now You See Me.

Free­man and co-star Michael Caine share a ‘‘re­ally good scene’’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.