Going in Style

Reviews Films




Going In Style is a reboot of the 1979 film under the same title, which starred George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg.

Three life-long friends, Joe (Michael Caine), Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Al (Alan Arkin), face financial and personal hardships when the company for whom they’ve worked for 30 years dissolves their pension fund. Inspired by a robbery he witnesses, and with the bank threatening to take his house, Joe convinces his friends to rob the same bank that is financially crippling them.

Casting such well-loved actors in this film adds another layer of emotion as most audiences will already have a sentimental attachment to these three, without much need for them to be characterised as the ‘good guys’ going up against a merciless banking giant. The light comedy throughout can be enjoyed equally by older and younger generations, but I feel it is aimed mostly at the baby boomers and beyond.

Minor plot holes can be overlooked because of the film’s comedic nature, and the plot itself moves at what feels like an odd pace, but which ties itself up nicely at the end. The film looks at age in a positive light, and provides insight into the stories and hardships of an older generation in a modern world.

The editors have been somewhat over-zealous with their transitions and split-screen effects, but it feels quite retro which fits the theme of the film nicely. There is also some rather cliché dialogue, particularly in some poignant scenes, which could have been more original and therefore provided more emotional depth to the relationships between characters like Joe and his ex-stepson.

However, most audiences would gladly watch endless hours of these three wonderful actors, and it’s sad to see them amongst such decrepit characters. The film plays into the genre well. With its use of classic action tropes, it doesn’t attempt to do anything original, or be anything other than the feel-good, light-hearted comedy of 30 years ago, just revamped for modern tastes. I rate this film 8/10.


Alison has a BA in Literary and Cultural Studies and Creative Writing, and has just completed her BA Honours in Creative Practice Screenwriting.