FILM: GOING IN STYLE
CAST: MORGAN FREEMAN, MICHAEL CAINE, ALAN ARKIN, ANN-MARGRET, JOEY KING
DIRECTOR: ZACH BRAFF
Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin team up as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Albert, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty.
Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money, in this Zach Braff directed comedy.
“Ted Melfi’s script has so many funny twists and turns and surprising reveals. He’s a fantastic storyteller,” says Braff. “Plus, you’re watching some of the true Hollywood greats, which was a real pleasure for me, and I know audiences will appreciate how beautifully they balance the comedy and action with some of the more touching, soulful moments that are also an important part of the story. I love these guys. Who doesn’t? They really make you believe that these characters have been best friends for 40 years, weathered the highs and lows and have each other’s backs.”
“I get scripts all the time, but this one was special,” Caine affirms. “I loved the fact that it was a comedy, which I rarely get, and also the quality of the relationships. It’s a very charming film, and very funny, but it has depth. And it was a chance to work with Morgan and Alan and, really, from an actor’s point of view, how much better can it get than that?”
Citing their undeniable chemistry, Freeman adds, “I think because we were clearly enjoying what we were doing, that comes through on the screen.”
Played largely for laughs, ‘Going in Style’ also strikes a note of genuine outrage over the machinations of big business, which might ring true for a wide audience – many of whom in the U.S., like Joe, Willie and Al, have felt the pinch of disappearing benefits and bait-and-switch loans, and fallen into the breach between what they were promised and what they got.
“You can imagine,” says Arkin, “if someone worked their whole life and counted on the company they worked for to honour that commitment, and it doesn’t, that even someone who’d never had a criminal thought in their lives would become enraged. I can completely understand why these three guys go ballistic and do what they do.”
In that respect, notes producer Donald De Line, “The story is as relevant today as it was when the original movie debuted, if not more so.” He cites that 1979 film, directed by Martin Brest as a jumping-off point for the new film, saying, “This is not a remake, but a modern take on a premise that stands the test of time. The system often doesn’t work, whether it’s pensions or insurance or the banks. My father was with a company for years and retired with a pension that was suddenly reduced by half when that company was taken over. These things happen all the time.”