** Spoiler Alert
Director: Zack Braff
Producers: Marc Bienstock
Written By: Theodore Melfi
Based on the 1979 story by: Edward Cannon
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin
Going in Style is a happy-ending remake of an earlier 1979 film of the same name with an Oscar winner cast where three lifelong friends Willie, Joe and Al decide to rob the bank that has taken over their pensions.
Films are made for the same reason that stories are told, to tackle themes that the audience has absolutely no control over in their daily lives. The pension-cut theme in the US and the timing of this release may be purely coincidental but it sent a chill down my spine to discover that to this day, in 2017, it is still an ongoing issue as it was in the late 70s.
If you are happy to watch a funny, entertaining film with great actors, please do so and please stop reading because spoilers are coming your way.
Stephen King, one of my favourite authors once said that ‘fiction is the truth inside the lie’. But as I left this theatre I felt as if I had been spoon-fed a bunch of lies. There, I said it. It’s out in the open now.
I am afraid that the screenwriter’s attempt to change the original ending to something ‘more upbeat’ to keep up with the times provides the audience with an impossible tale that plants a troubling seed in this day and age: that robbing a bank can be done successfully without any consequences whatsoever.
My favourite quote by Joe (Michael Caine) in the film sums up the story and, ironically enough, provides a hint of what could have been. ‘These banks practically destroyed this country. They crushed a lot of people’s dreams, and nothing ever happened to them. We three old guys, we hit a bank. We get away with it, we retire in dignity. Worst comes to the worst, we get caught, we get a bed, three meals a day, and better health care than we got now.’
Going in Style is a feel-good film with laughs all the way through that warms the cockles of your heart but could have been so much more than that.
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