On Tuesday night, I had a chance to see an advanced screening of Stand Up Guys.
Though it was riddled with cliches and some cheese-ball dialogue, this film was still watchable because of its cast. Pacino might not have the same sex appeal as he did when he was younger, but you’re still drawn to him because he’s Pacino. While I probably could have done without the chunk of film that dealt with him taking “boner pills” and having an erection that was going to last waaaaaay more than four hours, I still admired Pacino’s character because he knew he was living on borrowed time.
Freed from prison after serving a 28 year sentence, Pacino’s character meets back up with his old friend/partner in crime… Christopher Walken. Walken’s character is given the task of killing Pacino’s character by 10:00am the following day. This film chronicles their time together from Pacino’s release through the 10:00am deadline. During this time, the men meet back up with another friend (Alan Arkin… how I love him so), help a beaten woman take revenge on her attackers, and deal with Walken’s character’s family issues.
Christopher Walken continues to be a delight to watch. He has this completely unique ability to deliver the simplest of lines in the most ridiculous and amazing ways. I laughed audibly multiple times listening to Walken’s reaction or observation dialogue.
While there were definitely moments I found funny or amusing, I spent a bulk of the film wishing I could read what was going on in Walken and Pacino’s minds. They have expressive eyes and it was somewhat heartbreaking to watch them playing these characters. These Stand Up Guys were once the young It guys of the film industry. Their acting talents were admired and celebrated… they were gorgeous (especially young Pacino… damn), they could act, and they headlined films. That’s not to say that Pacino and Walken are nobodies these days… but now they’re stuck playing the old guys who spend their time looking back on the past instead of living in the moment or looking toward the future.
This is a film I would have liked to watch with my (late) grandfather. I can just picture him telling me stories about films from earlier in the actors’ careers. He would recommend that I watch The Deer Hunter and I would promise him that I would get on that as soon as I could.
I’m a woman in my late-20s. The movie industry did not make this movie for me or my demographic… and yet I still enjoyed it. It kinda makes you think though… if they tried to make this film with women of that age, it would have been turned into a comedy in the same vain as Calendar Girls (am I right?).