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Going In Style - Blu-ray Review

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Going In Style - Movie Review

2 starsWe’ve all been there. Aggravated to the breaking point by intolerable mistreatment from the man. There’s only so much one can withstand before the strings of sanity snap and we take matters into our own hands. More often than not, our level-headed decision making skills win out, but occasionally the flippant disregard for rationality can’t be ignored.

Take the case of Going In Style’s septuagenarians Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine), and Al (Alan Arkin), three blue-collar Brooklynites who just discovered that they’ve been screwed out of their factory pension and retirement plans. Now they’re mad as hell. Armed with the hopeless thoughts of having nothing left to lose, the desperate trio take matters into their own hands and concoct a plan to rob the very bank that shares some of the responsibility for their current financial situation.

Of course this is all just a toothless rehash of the same-named 1979 bank-heist caper that starred three equally-revered actors of the day in George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. Only this time around, gone is most of the bite, and nearly all of the fun that endeared the earlier film to a generation of fans.

This version is directed by an unusual choice in TV veteran Zach Braff whose earlier films, Garden State and Wish I Was Here, bore delightful Indie sensibilities and none of the cliched Hollywood moments that rob his latest of any individuality and all personality.

The script is by Theodore Melfi who brought us last year’s Academy Award-nominated Hidden Figures, and who has a unique affinity for attracting big name A-listers. But with Going In Style, the writer fails to inject his script with any sense of tension, darkness, or real emotion. We’re left with a steady stream of old geezer jokes that barely tip the funny meter. Sure, it’s always fun when Freeman, Caine, and Arkin are on the screen together, but more often than not, the jokes fall flatter than a warmed-over bowl of oatmeal.

Joe is the mastermind of the hair-brained scheme. Behind on the mortgage and facing foreclosure which would put not only himself, but his daughter and young granddaughter out on the street, Joe tries to convince his pals of a one-time plunge into the underworld of revenge, redemption, and the chance to finally stick it to the man.

Buddies Willie and Albert share a house across the street and pass off Joe’s mindless scheme as the ramblings of a lunatic. But with Willie’s immediate need of a life-saving operation, the two basically trick Albert into helping out. Their plan: steal just enough money to replace their stolen pensions, then give away the rest.

Big on geezer humor, Going In Style is mostly harmless and innocuous. But that’s partly the problem. While picking fun at old people is certainly low hanging fruit, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, charming and enjoyable as well. It really is neither. One segment that features a practice run in a grocery store before fully committing themselves, brings smiles but is never laugh-out-loud funny. Willie, Joe, and Al hit the local supermarket to shoplift a few things to see if they are up to the task, but quickly discover they’re terrible at it. The scene ends with Willie running through the parking lot with a roast in his pants, Joe with a dozen eggs in his coat, and all three escaping on a motorized cart.

One bright spot is the brief appearance of the always-delightful Ann Margret as the sassy grocery store clerk who has the hots for Albert. But a turn by a drooling, incoherently disoriented Christopher Lloyd is unfunny and handled mostly in poor taste.

Going In Style is certainly not a terrible film. It’s brief, mostly good-natured, and populated by an entertaining cast that can bring interest to nearly anything. But like a watery bowl of gruel, it’s not much fun to choke down, nor is it particularly nourishing once you do.

Going In Style - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for drug content, language and some suggestive material.
96 mins
: Zach Braff
Theodore Melfi
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin
: Comedy
You're never too old to get even.
Memorable Movie Quote: "These banks practically destroyed this country."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 7, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Own Going In Style on Blu-ray and DVD on August 1 or Own it Now on Digital HD!
Synopsis: Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money, in director Zach Braff’s comedy “Going in Style.”


Going In Style - Blu-ray Review

Blu-rayBlu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray - August 1, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1;French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-50); UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

As is expected with today’s digital technology available to filmmakers, Going in Style looks marvelous in all its 2k glory with many of Braff’s outdoor scenes beautifully lit in a warm golden hour glow. Colors are bright and the picture crisp with an occasional color shift creeping its way in.

Braff and cinematographer Rodney Charters certainly know where to put the camera and unquestionably know how to light a scene and the Arri Alexa XT Plus digital camera does the rest with its state-of-the-art quality and a film-like, organic look and feel. If only the same attention to detail were given to the film’s script which never manages a second-level of greatness despite its trio of veteran actors.

There’s not much action in Going In Style, after all, it’s a geezer pleaser so the 5.1 Dolby DTS-HD Master audio stays mainly in the center, but awakens when called upon with a nice room-working immersion of big city sounds and peripheral goings-on. A lack of any substantial extras confirms Warner’s lack of attention to this release.



  • Director Zach Braff’s feature-length ride-along audio commentary offers many insightful little tidbits about the film and its making. If you like the film, then the commentary is definitely worth your time, otherwise, don't bother.

Special Features:

Very disappointed to see nothing substantial here other than a dozen or so deleted scenes that were left out for a reason. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along!

  • Deleted Scenes

Going In Style - Movie Review

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