Stand-Up-Guys
2012 Running time: 95 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3
KA Stand Up Guys

Synopsis

Three old school Los Angeles mobsters - Al Pacino's jailbird Val, Christopher Walken's enforcer Doc and Alan Arkin's driver Hirsch - spend one last night on the tiles after Val is released from a long stretch after taking the rap for the gang 28 years before. However, underworld kingpin Claphands (Mark Margolis) has instructed Doc to take out Val after his son was accidentally shot in the same heist. Director Fisher Stevens plays it tough but tender in a highly enjoyable comedy-drama distinguished by rich performances from a trio of old stagers.

Director

  • Fisher Stevens

Cast

  • Al Pacino

  • Christopher Walken

  • Alan Arkin

  • Julianna Margulies

  • Mark Margolis

  • Lucy Punch

Review

After risibly resisting the ravages of time in the likes of 88 Minutes and Righteous Kill, Al Pacino finally acts his age in a rewarding mash-up of Last of the Summer Wine and Goodfellas.

He plays Val, an LA gangster who's seen the best years of his life slip away while stoically serving a 28-year term for his partners in crime Doc (Walken) and Hirsch (Arkin).

Doc is at the gates to greet the old jailbird - now resembling a cross between Richard Hammond and Ken Dodd - as he shuffles out of prison, gamely focussing on a night of sex, snorts and surf'n'turf.

However, what he doesn't know is that Doc is under orders from bitter mafia boss Claphands (Margolis) to take him out because he believes Val was responsible for the death of his trigger-happy son, who died after getting caught in crossfire years before.

Launching into party time, Val finds himself swigging Doc's aftershave, robbing a pharmacy for Viagra and joining Hirsch - who has been sprung from a retirement home - for a carnal frenzy at a suburban knocking shop.

In a movie of many pleasures, it's the effortless acting from Walken (a paternal good guy with a talent for painting), Arkin (a dutiful widower with a sentimental streak as wide as a freeway) and Pacino (showing a neat gift for comic timing) that bowl this along at a tidy lick.

Weighing in a lean 90 minutes, there's not an ounce of fat on a script that succeeds in being both poignant and poisonously funny, including a brothel madam (who insists she never takes money when faced with a menage a trios) being told by Val: "we won't pay you then'.

As the night wears on and Val's appointment with fate gets nearer, Stevens subtly ramps up the emotional dynamic with Doc connecting with his estranged family and the lads gearing up to confront their past once and for all.

It's old boys behaving badly...and they do it so well.

Tim Evans

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