I am a big fan of Al Pacino. Like most, I love him most in The Godfather (number 2 is my favorite). The way he commands a room, his men and his business is enough to make anyone put out a hit on those who have wronged them.
Stand Up Guys is not that movie. It is clear that Al Pacino and Christopher Walken are not only old, but that are just using their iconic names to get a movie made.
After completing a 28 year jail sentence Valentine (Pacino), Val for short, is released just to have a hit put on out on him by the man whose son he accidentally killed to be executed by his best friend Doc (Walken). The night is spent doing drugs, rescuing an old friend (Alan Arkin) from a retirement home, visiting a whore house (multiple times) and circling back to a dinner for excessively large meals to visit Doc’s secret granddaughter. A series of normal, but boring old man gangster things happens resulting with the movie ending in a brief, cut off shoot out.
I guess I can go over the few things that were good in the movie. This is a true old man bromance movie. I like to think of it like The Bucket List but with old gangsters. There are some real funny moments like when Val has to go to the doctor for popping too many Viagra pills, when they steal a muscle car and play chicken with the police and when Doc brings Val back to his “shit hole” apartment to talk in circles about having cable.
This movie had some funny one liners, including the mantra of the film: We can either chew gum or kick ass and I’m all outta gum. They steal some suits, shoot some young guys, save a girl or two and try to get revenge on the bad guy.
Aside from that, this movie is just so slow. The talking is slow, the walking is slow, the decision to kill him or not to kill him is slow, even when they break into a pharmacy disarming the alarm is slow and picking out drugs is slow.
We get it they are old, lets move this story along.
The thing that drove me the most crazy is the inconsistency of WHEN the movie takes place. There are scenes that show phones with cords and payphones, old knob dial tube tv’s and throwback fashions, but then they use a cell phone, talk about HBO and Showtime and have push buttons to start their cars. For me, someone who is detail oriented and likes consistency, this drove me crazy. It is obvious that they didn’t want to date the movie by allowing the viewer to associate it with an era they feel makes sense, but it is just too all over the place. and is distracting from the plot (well what little there was).
Overall, I wouldn’t waste my money seeing this in theaters. Save it for a weekend afternoon when it is on Netflix and you need something on while you clean your house.
I’ll put it simply: This movie just needs more cowbell.
4 out of 11
About the movie:
Synopsis: A pair of aging con men try to get the old gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment — to kill his comrade.
Director: Fisher Stevens.
Produced: Lakeshore Entertainment, Lionsgate, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.
Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Lucy Punch, Addison Timlin, Vanessa Ferlito.
Released: Feb 1st, 2013