Val (Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to rat out an associate. Val's best friend Doc (Walken) is there to pick him up and they soon hook up with another old pal, Hirsch (Arkin). However, one of these men is guarding a dangerous secret and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out.
This is one of those rare films with such a strong cast that it doesn't have to be good. It will be, of course, but it's such a pleasure to see this trio work together that it doesn't matter. Director Fisher Stevens was interviewed on the KQRS-FM Morning Show this morning. According to him, the hardest part was getting the three mains to agree to do the film.
"I approached Pacino first and he said he'd do the film if the other two would," Stevens said. "So I talked to Arkin who expressed a mild interest. When I told Walken all that he said he'd do it and it all fell into place from there. It was just awesome."
Stevens, whose first major co-starring film role was the irritatingly confused Ben Jabituya in "Short Circuit" (1986), has a long list of credits in film and on television. "It did feel weird directing these guys," he said. "While I was growing up they were my heroes. They're still my heroes but now I have to tell them what I want them to do."
Stevens is soft-spoken and openly friendly. He's gained a lot of experience himself but is not afraid to learn. "Making this film helped me more than them. It was just so much fun to listen to their stories and take it all in."
Pacino, Walken and Arkin are veteran actors who've done it all for a very long time. Anyone who doesn't know who they are probably won't see this film. Everyone who does know who they are will relish this experience.