Warner Bros. 1 hour 36 minutes PG-13
Zach Braff describes directing as the most fun job in the world because you can hire the best and he did. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin play well together as Willie, Joe and Al in a remake of the 1979 film starring late greats George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg.
The funniest scenes are when Freeman, Caine and Arkin spring into action trying to rob a store and a bank together. Freeman says the most difficult part was hiding a full pork roast in his pants and a dozen eggs in his shirt and run, then jump into the front basket of a motorized Little Rascal driven by Michael Caine. Caine says that was the most fun for him, too. Plus, watching these novice criminals rob a bank masked as the Rat Pack is entertaining.
In this film, the retired friends are struggling financially. While Caine is at his bank because they may soon foreclose on his house, an elaborately planned bank robbery occurs. It’s slick, no one is hurt, and the robbers get away with more than a million dollars.
When he and Joe and Al find out that the pensions earned working in a steel factory for decades are being completely cut, they agree to go into training to rob the company bank with the help of Jesus played by John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island, Silver Lings Playbook) showing them the ropes. Smarmy bank officer, Chuck, played just obnoxiously enough by Josh Pais, (TV’s Ray Donovan, Law and Order) gives Caine plenty of good reason to go after his money.
Freeman loved getting to work with actors he says he really enjoys watching. It’s Caine and Freeman’s 6th film together. Caine thinks that most actors are really comedians at heart. And with Arkin, they seemed to fall into comfortable mix. Braff says, they’re all such good actors that even when he yelled cut, they would keep going as their characters, taking off on the script written by Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures, St.Vincent). Braff not only loved directing this film, but says he really loved watching the collaboration of these 3 great academy award winning actors. Christopher Lloyd is there, too, as a wild and crazy senior.
Arkin’s subtle comedy, as seen in Little Miss Sunshine and Argo, is just the right touch. He’s sarcastic with his buddies and even more with Ann Margret as Annie, who has her sexy sights on his crusty character. Arkin has worked with Margret before. He thinks she’s an absolute delight and acted like a kid who’s never been on a set before.
There are sub stories giving background to each of their families. Braff has not created an Academy Award winner in itself, but the film definitely has it’s moments. Joey King who plays Brooklyn Harding, Joe’s granddaughter says its sweet, funny and all about grumpy guys finding their “youngness” again as they put together the heist. We agree, she’s right on the money.