STAND UP GUYS (Fisher Stevens, 2013)
It's a gangster movie and a buddy movie in a single package. With a smart script that never takes itself too seriously, but packs a wallop of emotion at times you let your guard down, STAND UP GUYS is an exciting light fare made even better by the A-game performances of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin. Watching them do an all-nighter makes you remember the times when they were young, and performance-wise nothing has changed.
Pacino is Valentine, released on parole after a 28-year stint at the slammer. Walken plays his buddy, Doc who picks him up and the two goes on a night out on the town. But Doc is at a difficult position, forced to do something against his morale.
The two then rescues another buddy, Hirsch (played by Alan Arkin) from the elderly home . It's like the old days once again, when the three of them used to work for the mob. Seeing Arkin so full of energy here makes you wonder why he did not win that Oscar for ARGO.
The jokes are hilarious. The conversation, profound. The script makes way for a few surprises that are cleverly put. And today is a day when Valentine and Doc's friendship will be put to the ultimate test.
And just when you think old guys cannot break your face, or dance you to eternal bliss, think again.
STAND UP GUYS benefits from the chemistry of its actors, and the compelling premise of friendship versus self which is surprisingly well-presented in the movie. The ending may polarize viewers though, yet Val and Doc's journey to the end will be worth your time.