The case of ‘Stand Up Guys‘ is simple: Pick a perfunctory plot, bless it with the formidable trio of Walken, Al Pacino and Arkin, and then all one has to do is to sit back and smoke a quiet pipe for the film’s reception will take care of itself!
This is the case with ‘Stand Up Guys’, a poignantly super buddy movie with face lines marked by Father Time.
The great cast in the movie takes a leisurely walk to the finale during the sunset of their life and career. They seem in no hurry, kindling as it were their torch of friends-forever, and giving a final thumb-up to perversity.
Valentino [Al Pacino] meets his best friend Doc [Christopher Walken] as he walks out of his ‘home’ of 28 long years. He had, without second thoughts, sweated it out alone in the prison for a crime done together along with Doc and Hershkin [Allan Arkin].
In spite of the penchant for the perverse, Val was too much of a gentleman to spilt the beans on friends.
But, since in that crime son of mob boss Claphands [Mark Marigolis] was killed, Doc is under instructions from Claphands to eliminate Val no sooner he steps out of prison.
Surprisingly the moment of getting wise on Doc’s instructions becomes a no-issue-no-problem stuff for Val. Maybe deep down he is sure of friendship turning more solid than the strength of the Claphands instructions. And the instinct proves right.
Together Val and Doc visit a brothel but at his age and health Viagra is needed so the two purloin a drug store. Over stuffed with Viagra, Val declares he is ready to party. But after a sweet-and-beautiful dance at a club, the overdose makes Val immobile.
Doc gives the opportunity to kill Val a go-by and takes his friend to the hospital. Here they meet the nurse Nina [Juliana Margolis] daughter of their mutual friend Hirsh [Alan Arkin].
What follows is a fantastic one night of revelry.
After they steal a car, they force Hirsh to come out and make the group complete by once again being the group’s magic driver. Sans his oxygen tank Hirsh obliges and soon manages to adroitly doff a police chase, age has not withered his skill at driving.
The three old cronies now together after ages are hell determined to suck the last ounce of happiness that life may offer, at the same time ruminating on life’s gains and losses, its highs and lows, not regretting the tread on the depravity side of life.
They also realize as they save a sexually abused woman by beating some of her tormentors and tying others, and leaving her with the hapless tormenters to take her revenge, that in a bravado peppered with sentimentality their values had remained uppermost.
When the two return back they find Hirsh dead at the wheels and the two bury him with Nina’s help.
It is great to watch this film in which Doc seems gifted with a sort of magic touch that lends him an exclusive charm in whatever he does or rather does not, also the way he secures his home keys in an envelope, leaves it at the diner on discovering in the maid his grand daughter Alex [Addison Timlin].
His thoughtfulness of character shines the way he makes her at home with cash stacked in a shoe box and a year’s rent on the house paid up and phoning her to say that the painting of Sunrise was a tribute to her and that he loves her.
Picturesquely enough the long eventful night ends and the sun of a new day rises to greet the duo on their friendly reunion and a befitting confrontation with the past
Rating 4.5 stars
By Contributor, hismastersreview
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