Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Going in Style' Blu-ray Review: 'Grumpy Old Men' meets 'Ocean's Eleven,' in this endearing heist comedy

July 31, 2017Ben MK

A comic caper about a trio of bank-robbing retirees, Going in Style isn't particularly taxing on the mind. Although it makes reference to such serious topics as the economic downturn and the disenfranchisement of America's aging population, this remake of the 1979 comedy of the same name keeps the mood relatively light, with stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin using their legendary Hollywood charm to deliver the laughs.

As the movie opens, we're introduced to Caine, Freeman and Arkin as three old friends in financial dire straits. Their former employer is shuttering its stateside operations and dissolving the pension fund. As a result, Joe (Caine) stands to lose the house he shares with his family, Willie (Freeman) may not be able to afford the life-saving kidney transplant he needs, and Albert (Arkin) — well, Albert is just a curmudgeonly jazz musician with no apparent financial obligations. However, as Willie's roommate for the last quarter-century, he's in the same boat as his pals.

Yes, it seems like they've hit rock bottom. But then Joe hits upon an idea so crazy and daring that it just might work. Having recently found himself caught in the middle of a brazen bank robbery, he becomes convinced that a heist is the solution to all their problems. And after sharing his plan with his friends, the three of them set out to rob their local financial institution, Williamsburg Savings Bank, enlisting the help of a seasoned professional (John Ortiz) to teach them the ins-and-outs of the stick-up game. After all, at their ripe old age, what do they have to lose?

Directed by Zach Braff and written by Theodore Melfi, the result plays like Grumpy Old Men meets Ocean's 11, with the trio even donning masks of the Rat Pack during the film's climactic robbery sequence, as if to drive home the point. Still, despite its fairly cookie-cutter execution, it's hard to fault the filmmakers for wanting to remake the original with this cast. Caine, Freeman and Arkin all seem to be having fun with their roles, and along with co-stars like Matt Dillon, Ann-Margret and Christopher Lloyd, they make Going in Style equally fun to watch.

Going in Style's top-billed cast may all be of an advanced age, but thankfully, the movie doesn't employ an abundance of soft-focus photography to mask their lines and wrinkles. On the contrary, picture quality is crystal-clear and colors are robust, while on the audio side, dialogue, an upbeat heist score and a mix of hip hop, R&B and jazz music rule supreme, all of which come through loud and clear on the accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix, alongside the occasional sounds of gunfire and screeching tires.

Warner's single-disc Blu-ray release includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Commentary with Zach Braff - A fairly deadpan track in which Braff talks about the cast, the production design, the score and the music, the cinematography and the lighting, the filming locations, the visual effects, the wardrobe design, the editing and more.
  • Deleted Scenes (13:11) - Eleven scenes ("Joe Gets Picked Up," "Value Town," "Rooftop Romance," "Driving While High," "Learning to Text," "Teaser Rate," "Red Envelope," "Willy Skype," "Al Plays Sax," "Playing Catch" and "Mortgage Payment").

Going in Style is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of August 1st, 2017. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 36 Mins.

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