They don’t make ’em like they used to.
I was lucky enough to attend a special screening of Stand up guys, a film that I was really looking forward to seeing. A black comedy that has what I can only describe as a legendary cast, with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin who play aging stickup men.
After doing a 28 year stretch in prison, Val (Al Pacino) and Doc (Christopher Walken) are reunited, after catching up Val soon learns that Doc is contracted to kill him by mob boss Claphands (Mark Margolis). Reluctant to kill his buddy, Doc begs Claphands to have some mercy and let his grudge with Val go, but Claphands is persistent and wants Val dead by 10am. Having already come to terms with dying Val wants one last night out. Together Doc and Val rescue their friend Richard Hirsch (Alan Arkin) from a rest home and then they embark on one last night out, where they are met with various quirky characters and events. From brothels to drugs the old gang goes out with a bang.
The film has some wonderful performances by Pacino, Walken and Arkin, which is wrapped around a bit of violence, some cheesy jokes and sarcasm. The film is what it is, Do not expect it to be full of gangster violence and action, both Pacino and Walken have been there and done that. Instead the film shows the human side of these aging stick up men and how they deal with various problems. Stand up guys have been getting a lot of bad reviews and I can’t help but wonder if we saw the same film? Well what I’ll say is don’t expect a gangster film with lots of shoot out and fist fights, but if you can appreciate some good drama, dark humour and a bit of violence then check out Stand up guys.
By Fiaz Ali