Welcome To The Review!
Welcome back to another review from LL! It’s good to be putting up another post for all of you. This week, we steer into Hollywood’s comedy scene, with a crime infused plot and acting legends, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. Again I will say if you have not seen it and intend to, then I suggest you tread lightly as there will be spoilers here!
And without further ado, let’s begin.
Age Is Just A Number
So what is this film really about? Well, on the surface, it’s about three old guys, getting screwed in life (in their different ways) but they don’t succumb to the loss. However, what I believe this film is about is that age means nothing, especially if it’s to do with what you can do. I mean, after all, it’s three guys in their seventies (at least) performing a successful a heist!!! Have you ever heard of a famous seventy year old perform a heist, especially with no back records. NO! I can’t!
My favourite example of showing how life hit them the hardest is here! A very tight shot, of all three gentlemen, looking at a slip of paper, that deems their pensions as worthless. It is lit perfectly, with 3 point lighting that shows very few shadows from the hats they are wearing and it really brings out their colour. By bringing out their colour it shows that there is still life in them, considering this scene embraces the worst part of life. It shows that their lives are going downhill and that they will change for the worse. But instead of accepting failure, they take matters into their own hands! As illegal and risky as it is, they performed a successful, quick heist that was nearly faultless (good job Morgan).
Go BIG or Go Home!
Well, they certainly went big with this film. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are very big names to cast together. Combined with director Zach Braff, I had a feeling there would be more comedy to this film. However, the crime genre and idea worked perfectly! I mean three old dudes attempting to steal food, end up getting caught from being too bloody obvious! That scene itself was hilarious. But the fact that you watch them progress with their plan, and watch the way it hatched, was outstanding.
So, from scraping the bottom of the barrel, with a failed attempt at robbing food, they turn to a professional. After some talking, their training begins (cue Rocky theme song), with some quick cuts here and there and some motivation behind them we progress to the day of the heist. Now, how do they make their entrance? With a few gunshots to the air, dressed up as The Rat Pack (Bit of trivia for you, they were a supergroup of actors during the 50s/60s and the leaders were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis). All was perfect, until Freeman’s character had a kidney moment (GOD DAMN IT), leading there to be a small dent in their perfect scheme.
Despite the minor fault, they all escaped scot free with a lot of money to their names. And how did it all start again? Well…. Jesus, the man that decided to help these old gents, was the initiator. He was the reason why Michael Caine thought it’d be a brilliant idea to perform a heist because he done it right in front of HIM! Perfect, the full loop has been made. And to end this Cinderella story, a wedding followed by a toast to the remaining years of their life being happy.
Okay, Young Man
This saying (quote, phrase however you wish to label it) constantly appeared throughout this film. Not only was it mentioned in the dialogue, but the cinematography and mise en scene of shots would position these golden actors into a younger light. It would show them with softer lighting, to show more of a younger complexion (rather than their “older men” look). I think that this realignment to show that they are young men is wise. However, we do stick with the main theme of ageing, as their personalities and way of life are aimed towards an older generation that has cared for others. Especially Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman’s characters.
Use this image as an example, full focus on the three gentlemen, a dark background to contrast with the light that beams off of them, and not to mention, the costume design of the suits are very simplistic and contain opposing colours. Black and white, two sophisticated colours. It shows that, although their age is plain to see, their spirit and motivation is still hidden under that grey exterior; it shows that they are much younger, and still had some fight in them.
Overall I saw this crime/comedy to be brilliant. A mastered tale of three old men pulling off a heist to flip the switch on their lives. Going from rock bottom to top of the mountain (or about midway). The cinematic approach to show them in a younger light but keeping their old roots proved that anything can be possible at any age (even if it does mean breaking the law).
Well that wraps up this review, what did you think of the film? Did you enjoy the happy ending to this tale? Or was it too stupid to be seen through like their first attempt? Leave your thoughts below whether they be critical or not.