Stand Up Guys

“A raunchy and touching comedy about three over-the-hill mobsters led by the stellar trio of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, STAND UP GUYS lubricates its old joints—of the plot, genre and actors—quite entertain-ingly. The three savvy stars play former bad guys reunited when Val (Pacino) gets out of prison after serving 28 years for a murder he probably didn’t commit. On his first day out, Val is intent on raising some hell just like in the old days, but the only thing resembling the old days is Doc’s dusty gas-guzzler. Val is like a “man from Mars” as he struggles with new gadgets and changed mores. Predictably, but nonetheless hilariously, Val meets Viagra and learns that, as the commercials warn, an erection lasting more than four hours is not all that great. Noah Haidle’s jaunty storytelling is a sharp mix of comedy and pathos, and superbly balanced. Under Fisher Stevens’ deft direction, STAND UP GUYS never wobbles into maudlin or cheap-n-easy sentimentality. It is an entertaining yet sobering portrayal of not-so-wise guys who do not go gently into a no-good night. The third-guy in the batch is former get-away driver Hirsch (Arkin) who’s been shuffled off to a care facility for his final days. Pumped by the adrenaline of his impending demise, Val cajoles Doc into springing Hirsch. The three amigos will drive once again, albeit with a guy in pajamas and depleted oxygen at the wheel. Stand-out performances from Pacino, Walken and Arkin as old-timers prove that losing a step can’t keep you off your feet.”—Hollywood Reporter. R. 94 Min.

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