Lifelong buddies Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow when their pension funds become a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three men risk it all by embarking on a daring adventure to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
Two and one-half stars. Rated PG-13. 96 minutes.
“Going in Style,” the 1979 comedy starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, is treated to a genial, warmhearted upgrade in a remake by director Zach Braff that features Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin in roles they slip into like well-worn sweaters.
Written by Ted Melfi, the filmmaker behind the wildly successful “Hidden Figures,” this iteration of “Going in Style” still revolves around three elderly men who pull a bank heist in an attempt, not only to bring in some money, but to stave off the bitter edge of old age. But Melfi has given the story more cheery uplift, while placing it squarely within the grimmest realities of 21st-century life.
As the film opens, Caine’s character, Joe, is battling with his New York bank, which has recently tripled his mortgage payment due to a teaser-rate loophole. Later, he and best buddies Willie (Freeman) and Albert (Arkin) discover that the steel company they worked for is moving overseas and dissolving their pensions.