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Film Review: ‘Stand Up Guys’ Worst Waste of Talent Since Booth Shot Lincoln

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CHICAGO – Three actors, with three Oscars and an astounding 14 nominations between them, obviously have lost the ability to read a script late in their careers. That or the producers had dirt on them. There is no other reason why Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken would be the “Stand Up Guys.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

This film is devoid of sense, reality or fun, even though it begs to have all three. It is a comedy without laughs, a drama without surprise and a redemption film without any redeeming qualities. It sits there for its 94 minutes, eliciting virtually no reaction, except “how did they get these legends to do this?” The opportunity to let these reputable guys flex their enormous range and abilities are sinfully wasted in this film, with a script that doesn’t do any favors for any of the cast. Ultimately, it embarrasses all the characters, unerringly going to the lowest common denominator in each one of the relationships between the “guys” and their supporters. The production manufactures a parallel universe where no one would like to visit.

Val (Al Pacino) is getting out of jail after serving a 28 year sentence. He is being picked up by Doc (Christopher Walken), who was once the weapons expert in his gang. Doc is harboring a secret – besides making sure that Val will get some nice post-freedom partying, he has been hired by a vengeful crime boss to whack the newly freed prisoner. Yep, Doc is suppose to kill his friend within 24 hours.

But first must come the partying, which involves kidnapping their old driver from a care facility. Hirsch (Alan Arkin), who despite being on a respirator still can drive like a movie stuntman, joins in on the fun. This concerns his daughter Nina (Julianna Margulies), but she somehow trusts his criminal friends. The newly reformed gang break into a pharmacy, intending to steal Viagra for the horny Val, before treating him to a brothel. Val’s appetite for liquor, drugs and canoodling is quite impressive, especially as his life potential ticks away. Which loyalty will become the prime motivator in whether he lives or dies?

“Stand Up Guys” opens everywhere February 1st. Featuring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Juliana Margolies, Mark Margolis and Lucy Punch. Written by Noah Haide and directed by Fisher Stevens. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Stand Up Guys”

Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Al Pacino
Da Guys: Doc (Christopher Walken), Hirsch (Alan Arkin) and Val (Al Pacino) in ‘Stand Up Guys’
Photo credit: Lionsgate

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Stand Up Guys”

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