Stand Up Guys: A love story with guns

Walken and Pacino rage against the dying of the light (by shooting at it)
  • Walken and Pacino rage against the dying of the light (by shooting at it)


Stand Up Guys 3.0

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For 28 years, two loyal friends serve a concurrent prison sentence: Val (Al Pacino), behind bars for refusing to finger an associate, and Doc (Christopher Walken), on the outside, waiting to perform the hit when his partner is released.

The notion of a group of over-the-hill mobsters reuniting for one last job could lead audiences into believing that there isn’t much to this gangster fable that hasn’t already been depicted in similar outings (Going in Style, Tough Guys). But then, you’ve never seen it played by Pacino, Walken, and Alan Arkin. As with most films of this type, Stand Up Guys is a love story between men, but for a change, it’s not simply a boys’ club. Lucy Punch, Julianna Margulies, Vanessa Ferlito, and newcomer Addison Timlin all add credence and consequence to our trio’s decisions.

For his first big-budget film as a director, Fisher Stevens’s greatest sin is keeping the camera in too close. But with this trio of wizened, aged-in-elegance mugs, one can’t really fault him. Considering how much my contrary ass enjoyed the picture, it comes as no surprise that the film is receiving a critical drubbing. You’ll have to move fast, but it’s worth it.

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