MOVIE REVIEW: 'Going in Style' is sleepy, slow

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some take up golf during retirement, while others get into travel.

"Going in Style" suggests an exciting, lucrative alternative: Bank robbery.

Rarely have cinematic bank heists been more adorable than in this movie, which gets you to root for the criminals by justifying their need to resort to a life of crime. When a trio of pension check-to pension check steelworkers finds their income cut off due to corporate greed.

Backed against the wall, the thinking goes, they will steal from the bank that cut them off.

But like many criminal schemes, what seems like a solid plan at first falls apart in execution. That's a metaphor for the sluggish movie, which loses its charm as it meanders to nowheresville.

"Going in Style" is former "Scrubs" star Zach Braff's third directorial effort, after the heartfelt "Garden State" and "Wish I Was Here," and his first that stars someone other than himself. 

He got the casting right, if little else.

You couldn't ask for a more seasoned and talented trio than Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Alda, who manage to work together as a clockwork ensemble. The movie is at its best when it dispenses with the silly plot and just lets the characters breathe and develop. The men seem like old friends when they banter, B.S. and simply enjoy one another's company. 

You get the feeling that the best stuff happened in between takes, when the actors were freed from the nagging constraints of the script.

Silly comedies don't necessarily need to make sense to work, but the logical leaps Braff's movie demands you take fall somewhere between eye-rolls and facepalms. Things get more awkward and unreasonable as the tale spins out of control.

If only the movie packed the pep and ambition of its rascally retirees.

RATING: 2 stars out of 4.

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