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Stand Up Guys movie review: Alan Arkin has a threesome

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

Men in gray

When three aging mobsters reunite after one is released from prison, it’s not long before they're back to their old ways, stealing cars, shooting bad guys and visiting their favorite brothel — with the help of Viagra, of course. Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin make a stand-up trio of best buddies whose time is literally running out.

Men in gray

3.5 Stars: Perfect for those who "need more cowbell"

Doc (Christopher Walken) arrives at the prison to pick up his gangster cohort Val (Al Pacino), who’s finally being released after 28 years. Their crime boss Claphands (Mark Margolis) blames Val for the death of his son, however, and secretly orders Doc to kill Val.

Though deeply conflicted over his order to take out Val, Doc has until morning to do the deed — or he’s the one who’ll be dead. Perhaps oblivious to his fate, Val just wants to party, and Doc obliges his friend.

Men in gray

At a nightclub, Val begins to drink and snort everything he can get his hands on. He’s a guy who's so broken yet so honest and transparent about the state of his lost soul that he manages to convince a beautiful young woman to slow-dance with him. A stunning achievement from this old, grubby f-ed-up guy.

The story really picks up when they “rescue” their other partner in crime, Hirsch (Alan Arkin) from the retirement home. They steal a car and all three come back to life as the adrenaline from their gasoline-powered fun starts to kick in.

Men in gray

The most vivacious scenes take place at a brothel run by Wendy (Lucy Punch), the daughter of a madam the men so fondly remember from years earlier. The one thing left on Hirsch’s bucket list is to have a threesome, and while we don’t see the actual scene, the two young women are left wanting more. Way to go, Alan Arkin!

Walken’s fatherly relationship with a young waitress shines a light on part of his soul that is loving, kind and righteous.

Bottom line: Christopher Walken and Al Pacino are a delight on-screen, proving they still have much to offer the American cinema. There’s also an emotional lift at the end of the film that breathes life and hope into these rusty men, proving there’s endless beauty in a sunrise — and a sunset.

Run time is 1 hour, 34 minutes and there are no extra scenes after the credits.

Photo credit: Lionsgate Films
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