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Stand Up Guys (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 91 minutes.

Not for children.

"Not for children?" Not for anyone. It's bad enough to watch Al Pacino lumber through yet another role overacting every second. But to watch him do it with such a deficient script (Noah Haidle) and lackluster directing (Fisher Stevens) is agony no moviegoer should be required to endure.

The first hour is apparently a feeble attempt at a set up for the final half-hour. It consists of lifeless dialogue between Pacino and Christopher Walken, including a continuous Viagra joke that is old and unfunny. While Pacino overacts outrageously (what else is new?) Walken appears as if he has just been awakened so he could say his lines before he falls asleep again. It's probably hard for Pacino to get work these days, but Walken is a lot better than this.

The only time the movie picks up is when Alan Arkin appears near the end of the film. He breathes a little life into the stale script, but it's too little too late.

I didn't see this in a critics' screening. Rather, I was invited to a promotional screening sponsored by a radio station. Amazingly, the audience applauded when it ended. I can't believe that anybody could have been entertained by this film, although there were occasional spurts of laughter throughout, and can only assume that the audience was applauding that it had, in fact, finally ended.

January 30, 2013