Stand Up Guys
Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies | R |
I did the math. (It was arithmetic. No one got hurt.) Between them, Walken, Pacino and Arkin have three Oscars out of 14 nominations, five Golden Globes, two Emmys and three Tonys. Which is to say that even when they make an oldsploitation movie-a Cocoon of Grumpy, Expendable Old Dogs, if you will-it isn’t entirely painful, at least not for us. Their aches are another story.
After 28 years in prison, Val (Pacino) has so many creaks and cracks that one of the first things he does is knock over a pharmacy. Soon he and pals Doc (Walken) and Hirsch (Arkin) are running amok, going on high-speed chases and saving the odd damsel when distress calls. The only thing stopping this geriatric party bus from rolling on is that Doc has until morning to kill Val or a gangster will shoot them both. It’s hard to know which codger to feel sorrier for.
It’s to the actors’ credit that we do feel for them, especially since the film can’t help but indulge in silliness. (The visit to a brothel is a groaner.) But Pacino, Arkin and Walken are such rare talents, it’s fun being around them, even if the movie isn’t their equal. Me, I’m waiting for the lady version. Surely there’s a road trip movie with Betty White, Helen Mirren and Cicely Tyson’s names on it?
Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte | R |
Is it enough for Statham to keep playing the same stoic bad boy? Nay! Not when he can play one we’ve literally seen before. Novelist Donald E. Westlake’s thief antihero Parker is virtually a stock figure, popping up in films from Point Blank (’67) to Payback (’99). This time he teams up with Lopez’s dim realtor, Leslie Rodgers, to find the crew that double-crossed him. Don’t hope for heat-this is no Out of Sight-since the actors don’t have chemistry so much as camaraderie. What they do have is a decent heist movie that’ll help pass a dull weekend.
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