Stand Up Guys is weirdly irresistible
Starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin. Rated 14A.
Okay, we’ve never seen Al Pacino pitch a tent before. This is a movie first for 72-year-old Oscar winners everywhere, isn’t it? And it gives a nice second meaning to the title of his action comedy Stand Up Guys. But “Mount Everest just moved into my pants” is just the tip of the weirdly irresistible, senior-citizen good times.
Christopher Walken, who is almost 70 and cooler than we’ll ever be, accounts for another part of the pleasure equation. Pacino plays Val, just bounced from prison after doing 28 years for crimes he took the fall for because he’s, like, a stand-up guy. Walken plays Doc, Val’s old partner, who’s been ordered by the big mob boss (Mark Margolis) to whack Val. But not before Val gets “a python in my pants harder than the Rock of Gibraltar”. Sorry, these lines are unstoppable.
Let’s be honest: director Fisher Stevens didn’t exactly come up with The Godfather here. This is seriously just about getting off on watching these guys getting off on hanging together on-screen. Oh, and Al, I mean, Val, getting off. They rob a pharmacy; hit a brothel; Val swallows a couple hundred Viagra; they hit a brothel; Val snorts cataract meds off a bar… you know. Pacino is rambunctious and scenery-chomping, Walken is Walken, and—when they spring their former getaway driver from an elder-care facility—we get 78-year-old Alan Arkin. Not-Grumpy Old Gangsters bonus!
Aw, and the movie’s ladies (including Julianna Margulies and Lucy Punch) dig them too. “Havin’ hard times in this crazy town/Havin’ hard times, there’s no love to be found,” Baby Huey & the Babysitters sing on the soundtrack. Wrong, Baby Huey. There is love to be found for these old pros. Prowl on, you crazy cats.