Grow­ing old with­out dig­nity

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE

GO­ING IN STYLE Di­rected by Zach Braff. Star­ring Morgan Free­man, Joey King, Ann-Mar­gret, Michael Caine, Christo­pher Lloyd. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 96 min In­dulge me while I con­sider one in­signif­i­cant mo­ment in this largely dread­ful grey­pound ca­per flick. For no reason that makes any sense, the su­per­an­nu­ated he­roes de­cide to pre­pare for a bank rob­bery by shoplift­ing from the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket. (Is this not like pre­par­ing for a heart trans­plant by play­ing a quick game of Op­er­a­tion?) While flee­ing a store de­tec­tive, one of their num­ber knocks over a mas­sive pyramid of Spam. I’m bet­ting that the last time this hap­pened Norman Wis­dom was flee­ing Jerry Des­monde in Trou­ble in Store. Ha ha! It’s funny be­cause it’s lazy.

This is an­other of those films that pre­tends to show older peo­ple re­spect while ac­tu­ally treat­ing them like comic nin­com­poops. You know the sort of thing. They don’t know how tech­nol­ogy works. They for­get where they are. They have to go to the loo a lot. Ha ha! It’s funny be­cause it’s pa­tro­n­is­ing.

Morgan Free­man al­ready trav­elled this road in the equally wretched Last Ve­gas. We will get es­tab­lish­ing scenes that con­firm the boys’ un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances. They will de­cide to do some­thing madly in­ap­pro­pri­ate. That will lead to re­demp­tion. This time round, the guys – Free­man, Alan Arkin,

Michael Caine – are frus­trated ex-em­ploy­ees of a firm that has just squan­dered their pen­sion plan. Mean­while, slip­pery banks are play­ing con games with mort­gages. Like creakier ver­sions of the broth­ers in Hell or High Water, they de­cide to rob the bank that treated them the least well. You could, if you were both­ered, see it as a Trump thing.

De­rived from a barely re­mem­bered 1979 picture, Go­ing in Style de­serves some praise for a clever re­ver­sal of the “what’s hap­pened to this neigh­bour­hood?” whinge. Caine’s granddaughter pa­tiently ex­plains that, far from go­ing to hell, Brook­lyn is now safer and more gen­tri­fied. But this is dread­fully clunky, achingly pre­dictable stuff. Take a cigar if you guessed they’d seek a laugh by hav­ing an old lady say “f*ck”. Take an­other if you pre­dicted that, to se­cure a 12A cert, the script would al­low just one use of the word.

It’s funny be­cause it’s cyn­i­cal.

Dodgy codger: Morgan Free­man in Go­ing in Style

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