Favorite

Stand Up Guys 

A shaggy-dog comedy about three aging gangsters needs better laughs

standupguyscolor_05.jpg

Fisher Stevens' film is a low-key, shaggy-dog comedy about three aging gangsters tying up loose ends over one 18-hour period. Doc (Christopher Walken) picks up Val (Al Pacino), who is leaving prison after a couple of decades. But the day's celebrations — hooker, pills, steak dinners — have a darker edge: It's a last hurrah, since Doc is tasked by their longtime gang boss to kill Val. Later that night, the two collect their former driver, Hirsch (Alan Arkin), and get a bit of joy-riding in. They may be on blood-thinners, but they still got skills. 

There's not a lot of plot, and this should not be mistaken for a crime thriller. Stand Up Guys serves mostly as a playground to let this trio of well-known ham-sters go to town. Pacino is manic and profane, while Arkin is more melancholic. Walken is improbably the gooey center, reeling off quirky bon mots with studied world-weariness that barely cloaks his good-heartedness. As the three gamely slog through tired jokes about Viagra, cable TV and how cars have changed, you may smile. But mostly you'll wish these stand-up guys had better material for their golden years.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Al Hoff

  • When the Game Stands Tall
  • When the Game Stands Tall

    The mostly true story of a high school football team that learns how to win through losing
    • Aug 27, 2014
  • Land Ho!
  • Land Ho!

    Two older guys get their groove back, while surrounded by beautiful scenery, in this low-key indie
    • Aug 27, 2014
  • More »

Listings

Latest in Movie Reviews + Features

  • When the Game Stands Tall
  • When the Game Stands Tall

    The mostly true story of a high school football team that learns how to win through losing
    • Aug 27, 2014
  • Land Ho!
  • Land Ho!

    Two older guys get their groove back, while surrounded by beautiful scenery, in this low-key indie
    • Aug 27, 2014
  • The November Man
  • The November Man

    Standard spy actioner with lone wolf, pretty girl and badly behaving Russians
    • Aug 27, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising