Sir Michael Caine confused for drug dealer in name mistake

Like its fine actors - Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin - "Going in Style" (a remake of the 1979 comedy that starred George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg) gets better with age. The trio-the youngest of which is 79-delivers fantastic chemistry, humorous physical comedy, and action easily, despite their ages. "These banks practically destroyed this country, and nothing ever happened to them", splutters Joe after he has received a foreclosure notice from his neighborhood financial institution - the same bank that just happens to be handling the dissolution of his pension. During a bank visit to ask mercy the place gets robbed, inspiring the trio to plan a clockwork heist in disguise. Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The comedy also waters down its humor for the widest possible (read: not R-rated) audience, depriving its leads of some punchier fun. It was surprisingly jarring to see these men discuss how long they had left to live. The film itself is more of a nostalgic reunion special with a handful of sweet moments. Man, those age jokes just get funnier the more they're repeated, don't they? Willie's dialysis is not enough any more and he will die if he does not get a new kidney.

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In an upcoming appearance on The Graham Norton Show, the 84-year-old actor reveals that he was once mistaken for a drug dealer at an upscale party because his British accent left listeners thinking he said "my cocaine" when introducing himself.

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There's precious little actual drama, few laughs, and nearly no reason to see this movie except, again, for the undeniable pleasure of watching these three men, with approximately 20,000 films under their collective belt, have a decent enough time goofing off in Kings County. His detached nature lends well to the "all or nothing" quality of the mission. They smoke pot with a gangster and get the munchies.

I'm hoping that Freeman, Caine and Arkin all have plenty of movies - and meatier roles - in their futures. That said there is a warmth to this piece, a gentle sense that makes for harmless cinema - though the protagonists themselves are not quite as harmless as the film preaches. The direction was nothing special, which is surprising for Braff based on his earlier work like Garden State, and the score was obnoxious by being punchy and cartoonish.

Braff directs his movie like a half-hearted goof on a third-rate facsimile of a misguided satire of the classic heist film. Included are Dean Martin, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke, as well as A Tribe Called Quest.

BOTTOM LINE: This remake of the 1979 movie about senior citizen bank robbers falls flat despite an all-star cast of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Adam Arkin.

  • Michelle Webb