Pete Hammond writes: In 1979, George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg starred as retirees who instead of just waiting to die decide to put some excitement into their lives by robbing a bank. That basic idea has been reimagined for a new era in Warner Bros/New Line’s Going In Style with a trio of Oscar winners in Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. Although no one was particularly asking for a remake of the original from director Martin Brest, it seems to me, as I say in my video review above, that this is the perfect time and place to take this premise and update it to add social relevance.
That is exactly what screenwriter Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures) and director Zach Braff have done by making the bank robbery idea a much more urgent thing for these guys, who are actually still forced to work, facing the loss of their jobs and pensions, dealing with ageism, and basically getting screwed over by the banks. All this is established perfectly in the opening scene in which Caine visits his banker and hears all the bad news that is fit to print about the state of his financial future. As he agonizes over the news, the bank is suddenly held up by three guys wearing masks.
This sparks an idea, and he elicits buddies and co-workers Arkin and Freeman to join him in a plan to hold up a bank in the same way — but only to get enough money to live on and replace what their defunct pension would have paid out until their estimated times of deaths. Along the way as the plan is sold, and then hatched, we see the home life of each of these guys, along with their interactions. Juicing things up is a subplot for Arkin in which he must fend off the advances of the lovely Ann Margret, who seems to have the hots for him. … (read more)