29 August 2013 | Rodrigo_Amaro
Walken & Pacino & Arkin. We can't ask for more. We should. But we can't.
Three legends. Three Oscar winners directed by another Oscar winner (Fisher Stevens won as producer for a documentary). United in one movie. That should be enough and one should expect maybe just a decent script and then fine. "Stand Up Guys" promises too much while securing Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in the front row but delivers less than expected with its usual crime/comedy elements focusing on aging criminals and very few to say. The cast chemistry is good (but Pacino already had movies with the other guys, sharing scene with Arkin in "Glengarry Glen Ross" and with Walken in "Gigli" although they don't share scenes in that thing) and it's probably the only reason why everybody wants to see this movie
But it's terribly generic. Pacino done his sentence and is released from prison. Walken is waiting for him for two reasons: 1) to see his old friend again and 2) to kill him, contracted by another criminal boss (Mark Margolis) who wants to revenge his son's death. Soon they rejoin Arkin and the gang is back on action. Besides the fact that they all have fun together after a long time without seeing each other, what's most important here is their reflections on life and time and enjoy the little moments. It's all very simplistic told - a little let down since we're delighted with great and powerful stars - but it achieves some effect.
The drama takes a long while to be really gripping, and the comedy only gets truly good when Arkin finally appears (despithe top billing with the other guys, he's there for very briefly, showing up after long thirty minutes). He made this something almost remarkable, efficiently funny. I think the actors presence and relative brilliance compensate the script's lack of real premise, lack of more movement and characters and even lack of challenge for everyone involved. Enjoy their company and that's it. That must be enough, sometimes. 6/10