Growing Old Disrespectfully
28 years is a long time but for 28 years Doc (Christopher Walken) sent care packages to Val (Al Pacino) whilst he was serving his sentence. But Doc's kindness to his old friend is more than just a case of friendship as 28 years ago the son of mob boss Claphands (Mark Margolis) died during a robbery and ever since has blamed Val, ordering Doc to baby-sit him and on his release kill him. Well after doing his time Val is out and Doc has until the next morning to execute him, except not only does Val suss that Doc has been assigned to kill him but he wants to do a few things first from visiting a cat house to getting their old wheelman, Hirsch (Alan Arkin), out from the nursing home and then after that they find themselves saving a woman stuffed in the boot of a car they stole. The question is what is going to happen come morning?
"Oh this movie doesn't work but it so does", it is a conflict I have found myself confronted with more than once and it is what I find myself confronted with as I watch "Stand Up Guys". On one hand it has been a very long time since I saw Al Pacino on such fine form and it is a joy to watch him having fun with a role without just shouting and do all the cliches which he traded on for far too long. It is the same with Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin as this trio of great actors are on such fine form, seeming not to be acting but knocking around like a trio of old mates who don't give a damn for what others think.
The thing is that whilst I found myself with a big smile on my face be it from Pacino having a Viagra induced boner which a doctor wants to remove blood from with a big syringe to Alan Arkin wanting a threesome the narrative is inconsistent. It is almost like someone thought of some hilarious scenes involving these old actors and then tried to link them altogether but couldn't work out where to take things. Basically when the movie stops focussing on the hilarious exploits of these old criminals it begins to struggle and it keeps dipping back in to the humour to prolong things.
What this all boils down to is that "Stand Up Guys" is one of those movies which will make you smile when you first watch it but then if you decide to watch it again you will find yourself wanting something more which it doesn't deliver.