STAND UP GUYS review by Ronnie Malik

STAND UP GUYS review by Ronnie Malik


Director: Fisher Stevens

Cast: Al Pacino, Chistopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Addison Timlin, Lucy Punch, Mark

Rating: B

Veteran actors Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin get together in the short-and-sweet film Stand Up Guys and look like they are having a blast playing three gangsters trying to recapture their glory days of youth. What could have been a disastrously corny film actually comes to life nicely due to the performances of some fine actors that probably could make any role look good.

Val (Al Pacino) just completed serving 28 years in prison for taking the fall for his associates Doc (Christopher Walken) and Hirsch (Alan Arkin) in an accidental shooting death of a mob boss’s (Mark Margolis) son. The film opens with Doc picking up Val from prison. Val hops in the car with instructions for Doc to help him fulfill his wish list of wild crazy fun that he was denied all those years in prison. Val’s quest for wine, women, and adventure land him the emergency room his first night out of jail. The visit to the emergency room starts off a domino effect in a series of wacky out of control events that ultimately lead to three old friends living out their last big fantasy.

Coincidentally, the emergency room nurse on duty treating Val, Nina (Julianna Margulies), is also the daughter of Hirsch, a long lost friend. Val and Doc find out from Nina that Hirsch has landed up in a nursing home. Val and Doc break Hirsch out of the nursing home and the threesome get into all sorts of mischief. During the night out on the town, Val figures out that Doc is being blackmailed by the mob boss to assassinate the man he believes is responsible for his son’s death. Val completely understands his friend’s predicament and holds no grudges against his trusted partner in crime.

In Stand Up Guys old age jokes are delivered with perfect timing by three seasoned actors that play off each other beautifully. With nothing left to prove to audiences, Pacino, Walken, and Arkin facial expressions says it all – they are going to do the film their way and make it work. The slick smooth operators use style and finesse to show off how a stand-up guy always sticks to his principals when it comes to friendship, honor, and loyalty.

Although a bit contrived at times, Stand Up Guys manages to entertain as we watch the merry trio of thieves putting their heads together plotting and planning their next big gig and proving that anything is possible no matter what your age.

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