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Directed by : Fisher Stevens
Produced by : Sidney Kimmel
Release Date: Feb 01, 2013;
Rated: R; Length: 95 Minute
In Stand Up Guys, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken play second-rate Baltimore gangsters in their late 60s who make no bones about what grumpy old sociopaths they’ve become. Yet neither one is nearly as slow or creaky as the movie itself. Pacino, eyes burning with life beneath his electric thatch of hair, is Val, who has just gotten out of prison. Walken, whose own gravity-defying mane is practically a character of its own, is Val’s old chum Doc, a guy with secret orders to rub out his pal before the next morning. The two sit around diners, cappuccino joints, and a cruddy apartment, talking about the bad old days. They go to a brothel and crack wise about threesomes and Viagra. Pacino, showing off any way he can, gets onto a dance floor, and Walken commands attention his own way, by staring off into space.
Directing his first dramatic feature, Fisher Stevens does his best to give these gravel-voiced legends room to strut their stuff. But that’s the problem: The movie is too much of a wide-eyed, ramshackle homage to ’70s-acting-class indulgence. It needed much more shape and snap. Still, when Alan Arkin joins the party as a dying colleague, his antics — at least once he gets behind the wheel of a stolen car — give the film a fuel injection. Stand Up Guys reminds you that these three are still way too good to collapse into shticky self-parody, even when they’re in a movie that’s practically begging them to
Following 28 years in prison, Val (Pacino) gets out and reunites with his old partner Doc (Walken). What he doesn’t know, is that Doc has been contracted by Claphands to kill him, as revenge for the accidental death of Claphands’ son.
A pair of aging con men try to get the old gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment — to kill his comrade.
Sterling performances coupled with a knockdown knockout script with genuine laugh-out loud moments and heart produces one of the best comedies in a long time. Seriously, this is exactly what going to the movies should be all about: great acting, entertaining and a fun way to forget life for a while.
The plot has Pacino, out of the slammer after 28 years, seeing his best friends Walken and Arkin for what turns out to be more than just his parole night out. They may all be geriatrics but there’s life on the old dogs yet – and yes it’s a little raw in places, but then that’s where some of the real laughs are.
Crime comedy is tricky – it tends to bring back uncomfortable memories of the Eighties, here they’re the ones approaching 80 and it just works. Honestly some of the funnier scenes in a comedy for a while, and, of course, you get two of the greatest voices in movies doing wise guy banter – what’s not to like?
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