Joe (Michael Caine), Willie (Morgan Freeman), and Al (Alan Arkin) worked together for 25 years before they retired. Willie and Al are roommates while Joe lives with his daughter and his granddaughter Brooklyn (Joey King). When Joe goes to the bank to inquire about his empty checking account and foreclosure notice, a group of men rob the bank. No one is hurt in the robbery and the robbers get away with over a million dollars.
Over breakfast, the men are discussing their financial problems. All of them are in the same position, thanks to their pensions being frozen. Inspired by the robbery he witnessed, Joe suggests he and his friends rob a bank to solve their problems. After convincing Willie and Al to go along, the seek help from Joe’s ex-son-in-law Murphy (Peter Serafinowicz) and a man named Jesus (John Ortiz).
After robbing the bank, Joe, Willie, and Al must keep their secret, and keep their stories straight as they are hunted by FBI Agent Hamer (Matt Dillon).
On paper, Going in Style has what it takes to be a funny heist movie. With some heavy-hitters starring in the film and a relatable premise, it should be an easy home run.
Morgan Freeman can sell any role with the conviction only Morgan Freeman has. Michael Caine and Alan Arkin have amazing comedic timing. Throw in Peter Serafinowicz, John Ortiz, and Matt Dillon, who I haven’t seen in years, and you have a pretty good cast. Unfortunately, the script wastes the immense talent it has. The lines are stiff and forced, especially from Freeman, Caine, and Arkin. The film wants to remind you that the men are old. Lest you forget, they mention it every few minutes. It gets old very quickly.
Even though it is a story many can relate to, it just isn’t told well. The men, as expected, are bumbling old men, yet they manage to plan a bank robbery with the precision of experienced criminals. The relationship between Alan Arkin’s Al and Ann-Margaret’s Annie – they got creative with the character names – comes out of nowhere and escalates quickly. There are just too many things that are hard to overlook, and little payoff.
With jokes that are too easy and don’t really hit, the A-list cast fails to deliver anything meaningful. It’s not necessarily that Going in Style is a bad movie. It’s just not aimed at my generation. It is a film your parents will probably enjoy. Definitely wait for this one at the RedBox, if you feel inclined to see it.