USA Release date: 1st February 2013
Watched on DVD Saturday 13th April 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is a film that has struggled to find an outlet; not loved by the critics, but it has a good cast and a fairly solid premise. It appears to be the fashion these days to bring out aging film stars and put them in roles they’re clearly not physically capable of fulfilling. For a change, this one doesn’t do that; it’s played straight, they’re old guys and they’ll behave like old guys; old guys with guns and an attitude admittedly, but I liked that about this one. But enough of my rambling, here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Then Val (Al Pacino) is released from prison after serving a 27 year stretch, he is picked up by his old friend and partner in crime, Doc (Christopher Walken). The pair reminisces about old times and Doc takes Val out to celebrate his freedom, but there is a dark shadow over them. Crime syndicate leader, Claphands (Mark Margolis), wants Val dead because he killed his son and he wants Doc to do it. Realising he has it coming; Val decides to go out on a high and they go to get their old driver, Hirsch (Alan Arkin), out of a nursing home for one last night together. But all things must come to and end and when the morning comes Claphands wants his vengeance… But old flames have been awoken and it won’t be that easy?
I found this a very bittersweet tale with an ending that may not have played well to many audiences (I liked the ending by the way). It’s quite melancholic although there are some very amusing moments to ease the way. All of the main parts were excellent with Pacino, Walken and Arkin all living up to their billing. A nice soundtrack sets the scene with many old tracks of yesteryear plus a new song at the end from Jon Bon Jovi. Over all, I think I probably enjoyed this a tad more than the critics and would happily watch it again sometime. Some may find it a little too downbeat, but I enjoyed it; particularly the ending.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.3/10.
IMDb Score: 6.5/10 (based on 9,755 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 41/100: (Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 92/100 (based on 8,256 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Val: Are you a real doctor?
Doctor: Are you a real patient? Is that a real penis?
Doc: Nobody messes with these guys. These are the type of guys that take your kidneys out and not even sell them.
Doc: You can't open a car with a coat hanger any more, Val.
Val: Says who?
Doc: Says the people who make cars.
Hirsch: Hey, Val, it's like the old days, isn't it?
Val: No! It's better.
Hirsch: Yeah! Why?
Val: Because this time we can appreciate it.
Hirsch: Yeah, that's why.