Going in Style (2017)

Going in Style (2017) Cover

Director Zach Braff’s Going in Style is a remake that no one asked for with a weak modernized slant. By changing the motivation of the characters, Braff may have created something satisfying. Instead, a few laughs and decent acting save an enjoyable, if hollow and unfulfilling film.

Going in Style (2017) differs itself from the original by embracing the setting of modern America. This is partly done by changing the motivations of the main characters. In the original, the protagonists become bank robbers out of a desire to feel alive and young. Here they are struggling and sick old men who are victims of modern banking and irresponsible business practices. All of them have had their pensions stolen. Moreover, Joe (Played by Michael Caine) is losing his house because of a variable rate mortgage from a predatory lender.

Unfortunately, Going in Style only uses this premise to justify bank robbery. It’s a tone deaf reversal of the few benefiting at the expense of the many. The weight and gravity of their problems are wildly out of sync with the narrative. Ultimately, the end result doesn’t fix any of the real problems that instigate the story. At the end of the film, Zach Braff seems to care more about encouraging kidney donations than he does about victims of a corrupt financial system.

But, is it bad? No. It’s easy to talk about what’s wrong, because I’d like to see more done with this material. This criticism is out of love for media that has something to say. If you can ignore the emptiness of the plot, there’s quite a lot of good here.

Competent directing, and amazing performances from an excellent cast do a lot to keep the film generally enjoyable. Christopher Lloyd was the stand out performance for me. He was responsible for the best laughs. Though the movie has a rather large list of great actors, few of them did any memorable work here. That’s not a bad thing though, as everyone on board is a great actor and doing average for them is still great acting.

Though the writing fails to deliver a satisfying plot, it does deserve some credit. The dialog is solid, and it allows all of these great actors to shine from moment to moment and work together.

While this generally sounds harsh, it’s because I felt like there was enough here that we could have gotten something amazing. It isn’t the only comedy that doesn’t have anything to say, and it wont be the last. Going in Style is an average but enjoyable heist movie with a good cast that delivers some great laughs.

Final Verdict:Good for a few laughs, but lacking the greater depth it teases.