Capone says Pacino, Walken and Arkin don't hold up well in STAND UP GUYS!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
I've seen a lot of people suppose that STAND UP GUYS is about a punch of old guys doing wacky stuff, and while the film certainly isn't a master work, it's not GRUMPY OLD MEN either. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that in most scenes, the movie isn't even trying to be funny, although there are some laughs. What the film is about is three elderly former gangsters trying to recapture old times and come to grips with the fact that they are in the final chapters of their respective lives. Despite a few silly moments, the film has a melancholy current running below the surface, probably there because one of the men has been charged with murdering the other, as low-class as they might be.
STAND UP GUYS opens with Val (Al Pacino) being released from a 28-year stint in prison. He kept his mouth shut to protect the boss like any good criminal does, and now he's out—met by his best pal Doc (Christopher Walken, far from the weird-guy mode we saw in SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS). But during the job that got Val arrested, he shot the boss' son, and hasn't been forgiven. In turn, Doc has been told to kill Val within 24 hours of his release; he knows it's not right but the boss has leverage on him, so he has to go through with it. Val has lost most of his spark in prison, but a trip to a brothel gets him energized, and eventually the two men go rescue their former third man, Hirsch (Alan Arkin), from his retirement home, and the three go seeking adventure.
What happens instead are conversations about regrets, old glories and what it means to be loyal, all the while Doc is waiting for the right moment to off his friend, who (no surprise) kind of knows it's coming. There are distractions, such as a diner waitress that Walken seems close to, a hooker whom the boys save and help get her revenge on some men who treated her bad, and some awful original music by Jon Bon Jovi.
The screenplay from first-time writer Noah Haidle has a few nice touches, but actor-turned-director Fischer Stevens smartly relies on his actors to fill in the gaps, pump up the energy, and save the film from being a complete disaster. These are actors who are always easy to watch, either because they're giving us more of what we've come to expect from them or because they're trying out something different. I think completists of Walken or Pacino films will be pleased; the rest of you, I make no promises. I will admit, I thought STAND UP GUYS had a hell of an ending, but getting there feels like it takes a very long time.
-- Steve Prokopy
Follow Me On Twitter
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
- Harry dives into STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS' spoilers to reveal the truth behind the blockbuster we're seeing! -- 276 total posts 151 posts
HERCULES ON THE RADIO!!
Learn What Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Thinks About STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, Next Week’s HANNIBAL, MAD MEN, GAME OF THRONES, The New Fall Shows And More!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 8pm PT/11pm ET!! -- 220 total posts 105 posts
- Nordling Reviews STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS! Spoilers Abound! You Are Warned! -- 1000 total posts 75 posts
- Hey! Fat Face! Here's The New Teaser To ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES! -- 202 total posts 61 posts
‘Darkness Will Devour Them All!!’
Sunday Brings Antepenultimate GAME OF THRONES For HBO!! -- 52 total posts 52 posts
- Here's A Behind-The-Scenes Look At MAN OF STEEL With New Footage! Also... Is Supergirl In The Prequel Comic? -- 119 total posts 42 posts
Ben Affleck Tonight Hosts
SNL’s 38th Season Finale!! -- 51 total posts 18 posts
- 1st Trailer for Jean Pierre Jeunet's THE YOUNG AND PRODIGIOUS SPIVET!!! Joy Follows... -- 33 total posts 17 posts