Stand Up Guys
Tagline: They don’t make ’em like they used to.
The combined age of the three stars in Fisher Stevens’ Stand Up Guys is a staggering two hundred and nineteen. While on one level it’s reassuring to see that even in 2013, leading men don’t always have to conform to the whims of youth-obessed focus groups, one wonders if Al Pacino (72), Christopher Walken (69) and Alan Arkin (78) will find any members of the younger demographics making the trip to the cinema.
For anyone who does attend, they’ll find another key number at the heart of the plot: 28. That’s how many years Val (Pacino) has spent in prison after refusing to give up one of his fellow crooks back in the day. Now free, he’s being picked up by best friend Doc (Walken) for a long-awaited reunion with their pal Hirsch (Arkin). The only twist in this septuagenarian buddy fest is that one of the three amigos is contracted to bump off one of the others.
Pacino, Arkin and Walken seem like an eminently watchable ensemble and it’s interesting to note that the trio has never appeared together in a movie before. “Most of the modest pleasures are in the ways the men expertly play off one another and invest their shallow characters with more depth than any filmmaker could reasonably expect,” remarks the New York Times. “Despite some predictable predicaments — and the inevitable Viagra joke — the film is clever in the way it deals with the high cost of mob connections and the even higher cost of old age,” adds the Los Angeles Times. But before you get too carried away, note that the Village Voice tells us that the plot “plays out like you would fear,” while Time Out New York says “this moronically unfunny gangster comedy fluctuates wildly between the lowest-of-low humor and pity-the-aged-man pathos, and offers further evidence that the best days are behind its iconic cast members.”