Veteran actors charm in heist movie

Going in Style, with Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Ann-Margret. Directed by Zach Braff.

4/5

THINKING IT THROUGH: From left, Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine play old friends who plan a bank robbery in ‘Going in Style’, now showing at Rosehill Cinema

A FUN heist movie featuring an assortment of respected veteran actors, Going in Style rung bells because it was very similar to The Maiden Heist, another recent Morgan Freeman movie with a trio of unlikely robbers.

It turns out Going in Style is also a reboot of a 1979 movie directed by Martin Brest and featuring the legendary George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg.

Three senior citizens and lifelong friends get dealt a double blow when the factory they have worked at for most of their lives closes down, and then they lose their pensions through corporate restructuring.

It is a particularly vulnerable time for Joe (Michael Caine), who has let his daughter and granddaughter Brooklyn move back in with him so they can afford to send Brooklyn to a good school.

While Joe is having a fruitless conversation with his bank manager over a foreclosure notice, three masked robbers burst in, fire shots and order the cashiers to fill their suitcases with money, getting away with more than a million dollars.

It’s a tense scene, but with an element of humour, as one of the robbers sympathises with Joe’s treatment by his bank. The observant Joe notices the robber has a large Mongol warrior tattoo on his neck, which he describes to police later, giving detectives their only lead.

Willie (Freeman) has been having dialysis for his ailing kidneys, but has been keeping it secret from his friends. He has been sharing an apartment with Albert (Alan Arkin) for many years. Albert has a love interest at his local grocery store, Annie (Ann-Margret), but has been evading her advances because he is embarrassed by his living situation.

Faced with impending poverty, Joe is inspired to rob the same bank that had no mercy about his foreclosure.

Willie is more easily persuaded than the caustic Albert, but when it turns out the same bank handled their pensions, Albert joins the cause.

Their hare-brained rehearsal for robbing the bank involves shoplifting at the local grocery store, but it goes hilariously badly, including an attempted getaway in a motorised wheelchair.

So they seek help from a professional, a pet store owner named Jesus, who has the expert advice they require.

It’s implausible they can get away with the robbery, but it all adds to the humour of the story. Matt Dillon puts in a good turn as a determined but confounded detective.

It was nice to see Ann-Margret on the big screen again, still looking great at 76.

The movie will appeal to the older generation, but there were some young people in the audience who also thoroughly enjoyed it.

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