Stand Up Guys


Action / Comedy / Crime / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 38%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 46%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 48641


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May 08, 2013 at 04:54 PM

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by realmuthaf 6 / 10

Part embarrassing to watch, part hits the feels

What the title says. Stand Up Guys is a pretty weird movie.

Out of its humble runtime of 1.5 hours, the first half or even more feels like some wacky mission out of the Grand Theft Auto games, but with old people. Al Pacino does some really cringy stuff that's borderline painful to watch, like trying to pick up young girls, sniffing prescription drugs, taking boner pills and banging hookers. Seeing the man who used to be Tony Montana reduced to this goofy comic relief was actually pretty sad.

The action does pick up somewhat with the introduction of Alan Arkin's character, and the movie's not-so-orignal plot about old-timers getting together for one last time and trying to do things they could not do before starts working. The granddaughter and the kill-your-friend subplots do manage to be touching to a certain extent, while the girl-in-trunk one feels out of place.

Overall the pacing does drag throughout the movie, which isn't really acceptable given its runtime, and there is just too much random sh*t happening like the old men committing numerous crimes with no consequences, be it stealing cars, breaking into shops or shooting people. As I said, like in GTA games. Also, spoiler alert, but Arkin's death was ridiculously random.

I'd also like to commend the solid soundtrack and Addison Timlin, who acts well and is just a sweetheart. 6/10 in total, not bad, but not that good either.

Reviewed by eric262003 6 / 10

See It For The Veterans Of The Film Industry

As his acting career is reaching its final stages (not yet but soon) Al Pacino can still find many ways of reinventing himself in areas he's never been in before. Though his leading man days are behind him, Pacino feels there's still some fuel left in the tank that no one could tell him otherwise even by starring films below his talents like "Stand Up Guys" a character driven vehicle which would have been the type of film he would have dismissed about a decade ago. I feel he should performed in more of these character dramas by the end of the 1990's that way we wouldn't watch a legendary performer like Pacino slowly fade out his status a top box office draw. Still, there's no one who has the nerve to arbitrarily say it to his face.

Pacino stars as Val, a petty crook who's been incarcerated for over 28 years and has now been released. The only person who greets him is his old partner Doc (Christopher Walken), only not with open arms, but with the task of taking his life assigned by their old accomplice Claphands (Mark Margolis). Claphands has revenge on his mind for Val was responsible for the death of his who aligned with Val while Val served nearly three decades behind bars and has vowed that on the day of his release, he will be whacked. Doc is now in precarious situation that if he doesn't do the task, he'll be killed never meeting his estranged granddaughter (Addison Timlin).

For a script to work, it needs to be in good hands of a trustworthy scriptwriter who can where these characters are coming from and to refrain from focusing too much on the plot, especially since the three leads are in the 70+ club. Sadly, the script was written by the much younger, fresher playwright Noah Haildle who's making his feature length screen debut. Not to say the guy's got no future, but the film feels more theatrical than it does cinematic, plus there's no motives into what makes these characters tick. It's just saturated with too much talk and it feels very random and frequent and they say a lot without holding anything that sparks interest. Which makes this 95 minute film feel like a two film. The momentum is at a snail's pace.

The story circles around the long hours of events prior to Val's demise as Val and Doc getting into some mischief as a ploy to stall the execution. Such activities include entering a whorehouse just to steal some Viagra, steal a muscle car, gathering another old comrade in crime Hirsch (Alan Arkin), saving a rape victim (Vanessa Ferlito) while leaving her to take revenge on them and to operate a bulldozer to bury Hirsch who died from natural causes. Sounds like a lot in one night! Right? With a full table like this had the makings of a great comedy caper along with the pathos and the sad scenes combined. Sadly, Haidle only merely scratches the surface of these scenarios.

Sure knowing that the film stars three screen legends like Pacino, Walken and Arkin in the leads is truly worth a viewing, but that would be the only legitimate reason to watch this film at all. Arkin is the one who stands out the most here, such a shame he has the thinnest role. Sure the acting is great though it doesn't stick out and the finale has moments of intrigue, sadly the script and the snail pacing of this film made this long night all the more longer.

Reviewed by Jackson Booth-Millard 8 / 10

Stand Up Guys

I was instantly attracted to watching this film, when I read about it, because of the two leading actors, I didn't bother to read about the plot, but it was rated well also, so I looked forward to whatever it would be, directed by Fisher Stevens (star of Short Circuit). Basically Valentine, better known as Val (Al Pacino), has been released from serving, having served a 28 year sentence, his old friend and partner Doc (Christopher Walken) is there to pick him up and brings him to his apartment. Doc has been ordered by mob boss Claphands (Breaking Bad's Mark Margolis) to kill Val, Claphands blames Val for the death of his son during a robbery, Doc has until morning to kill him. Val wants make the most of his release, he and Doc visit a local brothel, run by Wendy (Lucy Punch), Val is unable to get it up, so he and Doc break into a drugstore to steal Viagra, they return to the brothel and Val spends time with a younger woman. Val next wants to party, so he and Doc go to a nightclub, Val has a slow dance with a younger woman, Val passes out snorting some pills, Doc sees this as an opportunity to kill him, instead he takes Val to hospital, the head nurse is Nina (The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies), the daughter of their old friend Hirsch (Alan Arkin). Afterwards Val and Doc go to a local diner, Val correctly guesses that Doc has been hired to kill him, Doc confesses he has until 10:00am to do the job, or else he will be killed as well. After stealing a black Dodge Challenger SRT8, they go to get Hirsch, who used to be their getaway driver, Hirsch takes the wheel, they avoid a highway chase with the police, Hirsch is asked what he wants to do, as a widow he chooses the brothel, he has not slept with anyone since the death of his wife. After leaving, the three men hear noises coming from inside the car's trunk, it is a naked woman named Sylvia (Vanessa Ferlito), she was kidnapped and abused, Val and Doc go to find the men responsible, shooting a couple of them, tying them up, and leaving them with Sylvia, who gets her revenge with a baseball bat. Back at the car, they find Hirsch dead, they break the news to Nina, she helps them bury him at the cemetery, then they return to the diner, Doc makes a phone call to Claphands, begging him to show Val mercy, since he has only a few years left, Claphands threatens his granddaughter Alex (Addison Timlin), a waitress at the diner, if he does not complete the job, she is unaware of their relation. Doc leaves a letter and his house keys in an envelope for Alex, the sun is rising, Doc stops in a church to give a priest his confession, and next he and Val break into a tailor shop for new suits, two of Claphands' thugs interrupt them, pestering Doc to finish the job, he and Val shoot them. Alex goes to Doc's apartment, Doc calls her there, he says she was the inspiration for his sunrise paintings, he has left a shoe box full of cash and the rent has been paid for a year in advance, now knowing their relation she calls him grandfather, he says he loves her and hangs up. In the end, Val and Doc stroll towards Claphands' warehouse, drawing pistols and opening fire, a firefight commences, Val and Doc fire at Claphands and his men, and are shot in the process, it is unclear how it ends, as the camera pans up to the sunrise, turning into one of Doc's paintings. Also starring Katheryn Winnick as Oxana and Bill Burr as Larry. Pacino and Walken make a terrific double act as best buddies and partners in crime, Arkin is just about as great in the short time he gets, it is a nice simple story of an old friendship tested by one of the men potentially forced to do a job he doesn't want to, they have an entire night of fun to recapture the good old days, and there is plenty of room for guns and gangsters, it is funny and very smartly written, a terrific crime comedy drama. It was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for "Not Running Anymore" by Jon Bon Jovi. Very good!

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