I hope by the time I get to be a senior citizen (if I live that long), that I’d be a hip, cool old dude. That’s what I like about Going In Style. Not only are these older fellas pretty famous for big roles in their old age, but you’re also talking about the fact that once you hit a certain age, you really don’t have a lot to lose at that point. That being said, they still went one step further with this film and gave it a little meaning regardless. We’ll get into that and more in a little bit. First, let’s talk about the plot of Going In Style.
A reboot of the 1979 movie that was directed by Martin Brest and featured George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. Three seniors, who are living social security check to check and even reduced to eating dog food at times, decide they have had enough. So, they plan to rob a bank…problem is, they don’t even know how to handle a gun! A social commentary on growing old in America and what we are sometimes driven to, due to circumstances. – IMDb
First off, no, I did not see the original film, nor did I really know that’s what it was until I saw the film. The extent of my knowledge really comes down to this movie and this movie alone. Here’s what I noticed right off the bat, this is a fun movie. Not only is it fun, but it has a heart to the story, even when it wasn’t needed. This is a comedy and most comedies these days don’t focus on a heart and soul of a story, they just shoot for laughs. I’m proud to say that this does both, it has humor for, probably, all ages – and a message that’s at least important enough not to ignore. There is indeed something special about Going In Style that’s difficult to ignore.
Apart from first impressions, how was the film? To answer that, let’s go ahead and break it down to interpret the stars.
PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 2
First up, we’re taking a look at the people score, and thankfully for this comedy, it’s pretty big on the people. The first thing you’ll notice here is definitely our fantastic round of actors. Every man in this film has made a name for himself time and time again – heck, you’ll see Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman together in both the Christian Bale Dark Knight series and in Now You See Me. Right off the bat, you already know that everyone can act, and you’ll be surprised to see some fun faces along the way, too. The characters were all really fun to watch and each of them worked really well together. All that being said, they sort of worked as a trio at all times. So, while each of them had their own unique stories that led them to where they are, none of them are really that much important over the other. Take that as you will.
WRITING SCORE – 8/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next, we have the writing score. For comedies, I never really expect anything strongly written. With Going in Style, I’ll say the writing impressed me enough to be eight out of ten points, but I also know it never reached the perfection scale. I was a little disappointed in the dialogue, I mean you have two well-versed actors known specifically for the way they talk and the things they often say. I was expecting something better than what we got, which was pretty much what you’d come to expect from three grumpy but funny men. It was a pretty well-balanced film from beginning to end. There was always one goal, it was just a matter of getting there. The story itself is fun and all, but I can’t say there are many meaningful things to be found. There’s a message to be found in the film, but there’s not a massive focus on finding it. Originality-wise, I’d say this feel pretty fresh. I know it’s a remake, but I’ve never seen the original. Finally, does it have an interesting concept? I’d say it pretty much did, yes.
BTS SCORE – 6/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
It’s almost a curse that comedies must get a six for the stuff going on behind-the-scenes. Why? Well, because they focus more on the humor than what it looks and sounds like. So visually speaking, I never saw anything that really stood out as great. Directing and editing, everything with that seemed typical and non-challenging. I will say it is as-advertised, as usual, but nothing about the music screamed “buy soundtrack” to me. That’s about it for that.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 2
The narrative structure for Going in Style was mostly perfect, save for the climax, which was just fine, but nothing I’d really consider a big culmination of everything that was added up before it. The introduction does a really good job getting the audience acquainted with the three older men and what’s going on in their lives to make them feel like robbing a bank is worth it. The inciting incident is when they decent to go ahead and rob the bank. The obstacles come down to the training period and the heist planning montages. I already talked about the climax. The falling action returns to a new norm, making this a nearly perfect category.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 4/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1
How entertaining was Going in Style? It was entertaining enough. I thought it was a cute little film with some pretty funny moments, so I gave full points to the “fun” subcategory. Rewatchability? Well, it was funny enough to check out again without any complaints, but I doubt I’ll be having any strong urge to actually look it up anytime soon. I also think the film does an okay job sucking the audience in here and there, but it’s not a movie that’ll consistently pull you in from beginning to end.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 40/50
Comedy – 10|Morgan Freeman – 5|Michael Caine – 5|Older Folk – 10|Halfway Decent – 10
Now, onto the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the film. First and foremost, this is a comedy, so was it funny? I wouldn’t call it hysterical and laugh-out-loud comedy, but it is cute and for the most part, family friendly humor that a number of people can really enjoy – so, full points. Next up, how were Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman? Good, but they’ve been in so many films that it’s hard to point to this little film and call it one of their best films, so only half points for those actors. This is a film about senior citizens as well, so can only seniors appreciate it? I don’t think so. Maybe if any other actors portrayed these characters – but these are very well-known actors from at least a couple of generations – so the target audience is wider than you might first imagine – full points there. Finally, was it halfway decent? It sure was, young man.
TOTAL – 76/100