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Stand Up Guys | Movie Review

Directed by Fisher Stevens (The Cove), Stand Up Guys puts together four of the most notable and experienced actors in the film industry into one highly entertaining film that combines geriatric and mobster references into 94 minutes.

The film starts out with Val, played by the charming Al Pacino, getting out of prison after being sentenced for 28 years. Upon his release, Val is reunited with his best friend and partner in crime, Doc (Christopher Walken), who has a daunting task ahead of him. Doc is made to murder Val by mobster boss, Claphands (Mark Margolis), by 10am the next day.

After Val confronts Doc about what his future has in store for him, Val takes the news surprisingly well and intends to make the most of his last day on Earth. The film basically follows the pair as they go on their little adventures. From visiting a whorehouse to raiding a pharmacy to get Viagra and then to rescuing their friend, Hirsch (Alan Arkin) from a nursing home, Doc tries to give Val all he ever wanted before time is up.


I have to say, the on-screen chemistry between Pacino, Walken and Arkin is insanely amazing. Pacino, as usual, steals the show and garners all the attention. Walken, on the other hand, is completely comfortable being in the background and starring out into space with his signature deadpan expression. Although Arkin doesn’t appear for long in the movie, his presence is felt when he was made to drive the gang to safety in a stolen car as the police was chasing them. Basically, to me, the trio worked well together and gave the film that 70s sort of humour that only people of that age could possibly interject. Brilliant, really.

Initially, the film starts out a little slow and it was hard to grasp what was happening. But after about 45 minutes, the plot became clearer and it was a joy to watch these sexagenarians take the reins. I quite like how the film also combined some heartwarming moments, as the aloof Doc shows tinges of emotions towards the end of the film where he leaves some cash for his granddaughter, Alex.

Overall, I was satisfied as I walked out of the movie theater. The dialogue that goes on in the movie might not have been great and some of the jokes were a bit overused (watch the scene where they steal the car, you might get what I mean) but the film really left an impact on me. I suppose that is what every director aims to achieve with his/her film.

Text by: Atika Lim
*Images sourced from Google Images






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