Film Review – Stand Up Guys (2012)

Stand Up Guys

Title – Stand Up Guys (2012)

Director – Fisher Stevens (Just a Kiss)

Cast – Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis

Plot – Freshly released from prison Val (Pacino) reunites with old criminal partner and only friend Doc (Walken) for a night on the town where many shenanigans ensue including catching up with old acquaintance Hirsch (Arkin). During the night Val must come to terms with the prospect of being killed by Doc through necessity for an old mishap against crime boss Claphands (Margolis).

“Nobody messes with these guys. These are the type of guys that take your kidneys out and don’t even sell them”

Review by Eddie on 20/11/2013

It’s lovely to see screen legends Al Pacino and Christopher Walken on screen together but not so lovely considering it’s in a film of this quality. Stand up Guys is a movie just begging for a better treatment although it could be said (to not much surprise) that these screen stalwarts good movie making days are well and truly behind them.

Looking way to old for this type of caper things kick off with Pacino as Val leaving prison after a 26 year stint and reacquainting himself with best friend and old criminal partner Doc played by Walken, who again looks just a tad to old and tired to be playing such a role. The chemistry between Pacino and Walken never kicks off, with the expected comedic fireworks virtually non-existent and any emotional scene left waning due to poor plotting and storytelling. Throughout the film one can see how the movie could of played out like an almost grandpa Hangover type adventure as the story set over one night is ripe for comedic material yet mishandled by poor direction.

Actor turned director Fisher Stevens films the whole movie as a TV-lite procedural that never feels like a complete film experience. The central plot premise of Val having only hours to live could of created a sense of real urgency yet the film seems to have no concerns with logic as the ex-criminals seemingly taper across the city and literally find time for about 4 separate sit down meals in the space of half a day. It may seem harsh to pull apart a story that is clearly meant to be a comedic meditation on old age, friendship and death but it’s just to offensive to the movie watcher to let slide.

It really is a sad sorry sight to see such quality actors as Pacino (who in particular just seems more lost than ever), Walken and the underused Alan Arkin drudge themselves through such murky average material. Somewhere in a perfect universe this film would have been a laugh riot filled with harkening back to the good old days performances, but as it stands Stand up Guys is a film you’re better off skipping.

1 and a half Mount Everest reference’s out of 5

15 responses to “Film Review – Stand Up Guys (2012)

  1. looks very bad, like a sort of Grumpy Old Hitmen. why is hollywood churning out this new bizarre subgenre: feisty geezers who like to have fun and chase girls, but still need a nap in the middle of the day. there was that awful thing with jack nicholson and morgan freeman. there’s a new one with freeman, deniro, michael douglas and kevin kline about a group of codgers going to las vegas and having shenanigans. and deniro and stallone in some rather awful looking boxing comedy

    • Oh Last Vegas looks a tad awful so does the Stallone/De Niro double hit – is it called the Knock Out? Either way it’s a little sad to see screen legends turn in a cheap performance for a pay check.

      In regards to Stevens 1 Oscar, Scott 0 – just goes to show you how often the Academy sadly gets it wrong.

  2. it’s odd in the case of deniro. he’s made some pretty awful films, and perhaps that’s just so he can raise money for his tribeca stuff, which he cares deeply about, but he’s done some good stuff as well recently, so it’s strange he should be so undiscriminating. as for Walken, well, he just likes to work, and he’ll do almost anything if you ask him nicely. i assume Pacino did this because he needed money for his Salome project, which he has been battling for years to get made. it is a shame that Walken and Pacino should make their first screen appearance together doing this instead of something good.

  3. The guys definitely try, but the script is just too concerned with making the same “old dude” jokes that we’ve seen a hundred times before. And believe it or not, they’re still stale and bring nothing to the table whatsoever. Good review.

  4. Pingback: The Best and Worst of 2013: Eddie’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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