Theodore Melfi wrote St. Vincent (which starred Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy) and Hidden Figures (for which he received nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). But this year, he tackled his oldest stars to date, as Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin headlined the cinematic adaptation of his screenplay Going in Style.
Think Grumpy Old Men meets Night at the Museum (the guards, not the talking animals).
Joe Harding (Caine) gets evicted when a loophole in his mortgage sends him hurtling toward homelessness, with his daughter and hilariously intelligent granddaughter (Joey King) in tow. His two best friends aren’t doing any better. Willie Davis (Freeman) needs a kidney immediately, but his insurance, health, and age are stacked against his finding a donor; Albert Garner (Arkin) has to take gigs teaching kids with no musical talent to make ends meet, and can’t seem to fully connect with the absolutely available grandmother of his worst student (Ann-Margaret).
But as the hits keep piling up in begrudgingly humorous style, and startlingly realistic blows, the three old timers begin to realize that there’s a chance they hadn’t consider before: they could steal the money they need. (It’s loosely planted in their minds when Caine’s Harding is inside a bank when it’s robbed and he has more of a clue on how to find the robbers than the police (like Matt Dillon) do.)
While the script might not always make sense – seriously, these three are going to rob a bank?- it has the panache to play like a more saccharine version (and somewhat.. aged) version of Hell or High Water. We can see the earmarks of a set of life lessons coming, how the men will find their purpose and reconnect with their families, but along the way, we’re laughing at the natural exchanges of these old actors hamming it up. Even Christopher Lloyd looks enthusiastic!
Warner Bros.’ special features on the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack include commentary with director Zach Braff and deleted scenes.