The new DVD release “Stand Up Guys” feels comfortable. It’s slow paced but well spent time with older now than you may have realized friends who have taken you on some great adventures. Al Pacino and Christopher Walken star as sunset versions of the criminal types we’ve watched them portray for decades. They are impromptu knights in shining silver haired and dented armor coming to terms with their pasts in this off-beat dark comedy punctuated by a soulful soundtrack.
Val (Pacino) is the ultimate stand up guy. He’s spent the past 28 years in prison for an armed robbery while his partners have gone on with their lives free and clear. On the day of his release, his best pal Doc (Walken) picks him up in the same old car and gives him a night long coming out party that includes women, dancing, surf ‘n’ turf dinner and milkshakes, a damsel in distress, secret revelations and settling a final score.
“Stand Up Guys” is all about Pacino and Walken. It’s their screen legacies that make this movie work more than the characters they portray. It just wouldn’t have been the same movie with anyone else. Pacino is in top form as the scruffy, slouched and debauched yet likeable Val who still acts like he’s in his youth. Walken shows the worry and wear of Doc’s past life and present secrets in a subdued performance that unleashes flashes of violence when called for. Alan Arkin kicks the movie up another notch with a hilariously low key performance as oxygen sucking, nursing home resident friend and former driver Hirsch. We he gets behind the wheel again he proves that, just like his two old friends, he’s still very much got it and it’s a ride we enjoy taking as much as they do.