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Movie review: Stand Up Guys

Stand Up Guys
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Movie review: Stand Up Guys


When Val is released from prison he reunites with his old gangster pals Doc and Hirsch but it doesn't take long to realize something isn't quite right. Rebuilding his friendship with Doc, Val leads them into a confrontation with a new gang, and a double-cross that sets things right.

Al Pacino (Val), Christopher Walken (Doc), Alan Arkin (Hirsch), Julianna Margulies (Nina), Mark Margolis (Claphands), Lucy Punch (Wendy), Addison Timlin (Alex), Vanessa Ferlito (Sylvia), Katheryn Winnick (Oxana).

Stand Up Guys launches well with some backstory and character development before things get rolling. Val, being fresh out of prison and ready to live life, must show Doc, who has somewhat given up on life, why it is more enjoyable to live. As the two rebuild their friendship, they find common interests along the way despite knowing there is an eventual end to their friendship on the horizon. Toward the end the film ties some things together and finally comes alive with the kind of action we had hoped for.

Acting was pretty good in this one. Pacino and Walken seem to do well together and both did a nice job of convincing us they were over the hill before proving they aren't. Arkin did okay but with a much smaller role he had little chance of creating an impact. The remainder of the supporting cast while incidental, did nicely and added depth to the film.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were all nicely done and indicated the film had a nice budget. Physical effects were good, particularly some action scenes toward the end. Dialogue included nice variety with some laughs alongside the poignant moments. Sound and soundtrack were both well done.

Overall Stand Up Guys is a nice gangster flick with some decent action. Strangely the film is billed as a comedy but really just isn't all that funny. Slow to develop, thing get going toward the end while in the meantime we get to enjoy some work by veteran actors. Fans, or genre fans, will enjoy this the most while those expecting intense action will be disappointed.

With plenty of foul language, some sexual content and nudity, violence, and drug use save this one for older teens and above.

Released: 2012
Reviewed: 12.26.13
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Comedies, Action Comedies, Gangster Movies

copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel

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