- Directed by Zach Braff
- Starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin
- Written by Theodore Melfi
- Comedy, Crime
- Rated PG-13
- 96 mins.
- 7 April 2017
When their bank buys up the company they worked for, discontinues their pensions, and forecloses on one of their homes, three elderly gents, Willie, Joe, and Albert, formulate a plan to rob the bank to get back at the bank and get the money they deserve from their pension fund that has been done away with.
How’s the Story?
I love this story. It’s a genuinely believable tale that so many people can identify with. When the banks steal from everyday, hardworking people and leave them penniless, the whole community suffers, and yet it’s something that we as Americans are sadly very used to after the financial crisis about a decade ago. Add that we have elderly people who can’t afford their rent and bills, who can’t afford to eat what they want, and who can’t afford the healthcare they need in this story, and it’s just another situation we are all at least somewhat familiar with. In fact, Joe makes a comment that, “Worst case scenario, we get arrested and get a bed, 3 meals a day, and better healthcare than we get now for the rest of our lives” and it reminded me of this real life story of an old man with cancer who robbed a bank for $1 just so he could go to prison and have his cancer treated.
And yet, with such a heart-wrenching basis to this story, it still manages to end up being a lighthearted, fun, happy tale of friendship and family and getting back at the corrupt system in tale of classic underdog success. It was both touching and absolutely hilarious, which is honestly the best kind of story.
How’s the Acting?
I really enjoyed the acting. I’ve never had any real opinion of Michael Caine, but he was really good as Joe in this one. Of course, Morgan Freeman can do no wrong, generally, but I really felt like this wasn’t a ‘phone it in’ performance for him, this one was good. Alan Arkin was the best ‘grumpy old man’ you could hope for him to be, as well. I liked these performances, because comedic timing isn’t easy to get down, and these guys all managed to get it right. They always say, anybody can be dramatic, but it takes skill to be comedic.
How’s the Writing/Directing?
I’ll start with directing, because to me, the direction of this film was pretty standard. Nothing bad, but nothing that stands out. Generally, to me, unless it stands out as SPECTACULAR, direction that isn’t noticed is a good thing.
The writing, however, was spectacular! I loved the dialogue in this film, I loved some of the jokes in this film, and I absolutely DIED laughing at so many parts. The little bits with Kenan Thompson were all so funny. The “What would your mama say?” “Go big or go home.” “It had to be the brother.” exchange was just hilarious. I giggled my way through so much of this movie, and most of it was down to the writing, as with most comedies.
Honestly, though, if anybody can watch this movie without laughing themselves blue in the face, I sincerely question whether or not your humor-box is broken.
How’s the Cinematography?
It’s nothing spectacular, but that’s to be expected. There aren’t a lot of comedies that are cinematically masterful. There was nothing wrong with the cinematography by any means, but it was pretty standard. There were a few shots that were really beautiful that showed the cityscape, and some interesting locations, but there was nothing over the top incredible.
The cinematography served its purpose here.
Is It Worth Watching?
YES! This was one of the first comedies I’ve seen in a long time that isn’t dirty comedy, and I LOVE comedy that isn’t all dick jokes and stuff like that. (Not to say I don’t appreciate those comedies, I do!) This movie was hilarious, and I’d go so far as to say it’s family-friendly comedy. This is the kind of movie I would’ve loved to watch with my mom. In fact, I tried to get her to come with me, but she didn’t want to come meet me at the movies.
It’s a genuinely touching story with a very comedic delivery, and I love the character dynamics, I love the emotional moments (I almost cried at one point but that was mostly because somebody reminded me of my Papa, who his dead, so maybe I was compromised there), I love the way it’s hilarious without making fun of the elderly, and I absolutely laughed my ass off at the banker – you know the one if you saw it – and his whole presence in the film.
I can’t wait for this movie to come out on home video, because I plan to buy the Blu-Ray ASAP, it’s that good of a comedy.
My Rating: 8/10