Through the years there are only a few actors that have really stepped into the realm of icons in the industry that still manage to deliver today. When a film comes along that somehow gets these guys together it sets the stage for possible magic on screen. Stand Up Guys is just that film bringing Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin together under the directing of actor director Fisher Stevens in hopes to deliver some magic on screen. IS it possible to get these guys together and not at least get some memorable moments if not a great film?
Stand Up Guys follows a pair of aging con men try to get the old gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment -- to kill his comrade. On the surface this movie shouldn’t be anything all that original or new, but thanks to the way it’s structured from Stevens and the chemistry of the cast delivers a fun touching film that entertains on almost every level. Walken and Pacino chew up each and every scene delivering some of the best performances they have done in some time. Their chemistry alone makes this film work, but add to the mix Arkin’s always humorous deadpan delivery and you witness magic. It’s not every movie that can work just watching two guys hanging out without becoming slow and boring, but with these guys you really can see that they really are just two friends chilling. As the film progresses it begins to take a turn from some comedy of aging criminals to two men pretty much out of their element, but refusing to let it go. At the same time there are some pretty heartfelt moments regarding immortality and redemption that takes this simple journey to mean way more than you would have guessed.
As mentioned before watching these guys do their thing is enough alone to watch this movie, but there is some decent substance that brings it together to deliver a fun time. In addition to the icons carrying this film they have a fun supporting cast including Lucy Punch and Juliana Margulies that help tie it all together. The ending takes some liberties via art and might throw some people, but works really well letting these characters do their thing without forcing any one direction for the outcome. Either way this was a pleasant surprise of a film that offered way more than expected.