Going In Style

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: MGoing In Style

** 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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London Has Fallen

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: MA15+London Has Fallen

Directed by: Babak Najafi

Screenplay by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, Christian Gudegast

Story by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alan Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo and Radha Mitchell.

A sequel to the 2013 film, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has fallen is an action thriller that was better and bloodier than expected.

Obligated to attend the state funeral of the British Prime Minister, the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), along with the majority of the world’s leaders, come under attack by the Pakistani terrorist and arms dealer, Aamir Barkawi (Alan Moni Aboutboul).

Gerard Butler playing the secret service agent, Mike Banning, isn’t my favourite action man.  And the chemistry between Mike and his wife Leah (Aussie actress, Radha Mitchell) was strained if not painful to watch.  But there were glimmers of a personality under all that strutting – ‘I don’t know about you but I’m thirsty as fuck,’ being one of the very few human moments.  He’s a man made of, ‘Bourbon and bad decisions’.  But yeah, some of the dialogue was pretty bad.

This is a big budget film with buildings blown up, the Chelsea Bridge disintegrating and the top of Westminster Abby toppling to the streets of London.  If it wasn’t for the seeming required cheese that these ‘American President versus Terrorist’ movies always seem to require, this would have been a very good film.

I like my thrillers and there was plenty of action here – car chases and machine guns popping like fireworks.  There were moments reminiscent of an Army Action kill ‘em all PlayStation game.  Good stuff!

Having the Brits on board only helped balance the typical cheese of the American style, one-sided ideal of the live and die mantra for the American Dream.  Even with Morgan Freeman’s baritone, some of the dialogue was hard to swallow.

The screening of the movie is timely with the recent terrorist attacks on Brussels.  A very sad day.  And some politics are discussed here.  The required need to continue the fight against terror rather than do nothing.  To engage the world.  The fact America has been under attack for centuries and that they will remain.  It is frightening, this terror business, this blowing up of innocent people.  And I don’t want to get into politics here.  But there are attacks happening and I guess the movie shows a perspective.  Anyway.

A lot of cheese, but some good action here with a big budget to make the film look impressive on the screen.