Going in Style

Apr 6, 2017

Disappointing like the first one in 1979.

Going in Style

Image courtesy of IMDb.

Grade: C

Director: Zach Braf (Garden State)

Screenplay: Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures), based on 1979 story by Edward Cannon

Cast: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hr 36 min

by John DeSando

Three old guys plan a heist to help their dwindling finances and expunge the red envelopes from the bank. Filmmakers tried to make the comedy in 1979, which flopped. Zach Braf directs it now to no better results, but not for the actors not trying.

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin play the codgers with the significant charm of the actors making this mess bearable but no witty script to help beyond that. After too long a setup, the boys start planning, but not until they hit the bank does the comedy take off into comic land, albeit too briefly.

I could try to make Going in Style go in style with a fancy theme about the little guys fighting the impersonal, foreclosure-hungry banks, but that would be giving it too much credit. The few moments of humor are overshadowed by a formulaic story rescued by some interesting post-heist cover-your-tracks plans by the old guys.

The only scary heist is the price of admission to this clunker.   

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at