Going in Style; not much in style here
No matter what field, there are just some brand names that are synonymous with quality. Whether it’s purchasing the newest gadget from Apple or buying a ticket for Pixar’s latest flick, customer satisfaction is almost a guarantee from these top-notch companies. In the world of film, this guaranteed level of quality and satisfaction could be applied to a limited number of actors and actresses. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are three actors who fall into this category and produce high-level work, normally.
Going in Style is the story of Joe (Michael Caine) who has recently fallen on hard times. The film opens with Joe visiting his bank, finding out he’s unable to pay his mortgage and only has 30 days to come up with the money or he, his daughter and his granddaughter that live with him, will be out on the streets. To make his financial situation even worse, the company Joe and his two lifelong buddies, Willie (Freeman) and Albert (Arkin), worked decades for have frozen and then eventually dissolve their pensions.
Needless to say, the trio’s standard of living is reduced considerably. Feeling hopeless, helpless and incredibly indignant about their present situation, the three men come up with an idea intended to solve all of their worries: rob a bank. After being put in touch with a shady character with experience in such nefarious activities, the three would-be criminals get to work. They begin training, both physically and mentally, for their heist. However, like most films about criminal enterprises, not everything goes according to plan.
As far as the story is concerned, Going in Style begins with an interesting premise, but it’s quickly ruined. The film has an overtly political message about big business, big banks and how our country’s elderly population is treated, which it inserts at nearly every single turn. At more than one point, the film seems to forget that it’s also supposed to entertain its audience as well.
While the film is making a statement about the treatment of the elderly, the filmmakers seem to have no problem using them for comedic purposes. Nearly every single joke in some form or fashion is centered on the idea that our main characters aren’t spring chickens. The first couple instances of such jokes are mildly amusing, but it quickly gets old and tired.
Going in Style is a film that could’ve and should’ve been much better. The film’s often overbearing political message and worn-out, unfunny jokes hold this one back substantially.