Back in 1986, there was this underrated crime-comedy called “Tough Guys” which starred Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster as two gangsters who are released from prison and have a hard time relating to the new world. It is underrated because it was a clever take on gangsters and really paved the way for the “Grumpy Old Men” movies.
When I heard about “Stand Up Guys”, I recalled my fond memories of “Tough Guys” and was hoping that with a cast like Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin this could be a gem. It is great watching Walken and Pacino play off each other but the script gives them no morsels to chew on.
Written by newbie screenwriter Noah Haidle, the script never really fleshes out the characters, gives us hardly any memorable dialogue and hardly any chuckles. The best line in the film “Are we gonna kick ass or chew gum? I am all out of gum.” isn’t even original to movie. Haidle took it from the cult classic “They Live” starring Roddy Piper. It really is a pet peeve when a movie recycles a catch-phrase or a one-liner unless it is the original actor playing homage to a previous character.
This is a disappointment just like Pacino’s last geezer team-up film “Righteous Kill”.
2.5 out of 5