Starring: Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis
Directed by Fisher Stevens
Run Time: 100 mins
Genre: Comedy/ Crime
Opens February 1st
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
When you see the names Alan Arkin, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken put together, you may think that A). What award are they nominated for? B) Now that is a stellar cast. What’s this movie I must see? Or C) This must be a really dark & crazy movie, must be incredible.
If you chose option B, please read on. Actor turned Director Fisher Stevens leads the way for the three legendary actors in the crime buddy comedy “Stand Up Guys”. After spending 28 years locked up in the joint, Valentine, his friends call him “Val” (Al Pacino), is looking to pickup the party and rock the town. Trouble is although his mind may be 28 years younger, everyone else’s bodies and habits have aged. Val’s best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) is there to greet him as he enters back into real life. What Doc has become does not become of Val. Doc's humble abode does not meet Val’s “exquisite” tastes. First stop post jail is to see a hooker, which was short lived. Next stop is to awaken dormant talents that Doc retired from ears before (aka breaking and entering) to score some medical grade pharmaceuticals. Val is hell bent on getting back into the swing of things although his body may not let him.
Humoring Val, Doc goes along with his antics as he has a darker deed hanging over his head. Crime boss Claphands (Mark Margolis) has put a hit on Val and tasked Doc with the dreadful deed. He has until 10 am the next morning to deliver the package or else a darker fate will be issued to him. With a no-holds attitude, Doc and Val pay their old getaway driver Hirsch (Alan Arkin) a visit and spring him from his own hellish prison, the retirement home. With the boys back together, they pick up where they left off as if 28 years have not passed, having an action packed night filled with crime, sex and a whole lot of excitement. Will the men be able to last until dawn? Will Doc be able to carry out the hit against his best friend or suffer an even more dire consequence?
At first glance, the three lead actors together look like it will be a stellar film. Yet the first 15 minutes into the first “reel”, the dialogue is choppy, the plot uneven and takes a while to get going. The amount of talent in this film is undeniable, but it was under utilized with lack of development, shoddy editing and possibly writing. There are some genuinely funny moments that will bring a laugh or two, but they are spaced far in-between. Alan Arkin’s character was certainly cut short on screen time and would have been intriguing to see more of the dynamic between the three men. It seemed like it was trying too hard to be like “Bucket List” with a touch of “The Godfather”. Older audiences will appreciate the humor and situations the men find their mature selves in. Check out “Stand Up Guys” when it opens in theaters starting Friday February 1, 2013.