Stand Up Guys, with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken & Alan Arkin. Director, Fisher Stevens. Pacino doesn’t have me as his biggest fan & I’ve previously stated Walken & his hair have always been troublesome. This was irresistible, because I was curious. I was seduced by their names, including Arkin. It should have been avoided. A tired old story, similar to Thelma & Louise. A caution to the wind, let’s go out in a ball of fire, type of thing.
Not to say I wasn’t entertained by the spectacle of utter seediness. It was like willfully getting into a mud bath that a bunch of hookers had already trounced around in. Rolling around in the filth & getting it into my mouth. Even now, at this writing, I feel like I need Dr. Zhivago to cleanse my palate & set things right again.
Of course, Walken plays himself, as he always does with his signature halted-speech & shifting eyes. Purposely, not speaking as a normal English-speaker. Which is alright, he’s allowed. His stick figure visage, a criminal who’s waited for almost 30 years in retirement for one last job is a treat. Sarcasm. He’s traded well over the years on his distinguished & unique style.
I must say, the backstreets of Los Angeles (& there must be a billion miles of them, literally) can be some of the most anonymous in the world. A wasteland of buildings that one can’t even imagine what happens inside. But that’s the nature of that megalopolis. Pacino just doesn’t fit in that environment. The pampered, aged king just looks out of place, doing his usual Pacino-performance. Nothing new here. Disappointing.
While Arkin only plays a minor role, he’s given 3rd billing. Perhaps it would have been best had he played Walken’s character. But who am I to question? His minor role in Argo defines his current career, in my opinion. Excellent, under-estimated & always brilliant.
I can’t recommend this film for viewing because it’s trite & used up; but I also can’t say that I wasn’t entertained. So if you can wrap your mind around that & if there’s nothing else on docket – view it.
Walken isn’t the only one with large & interesting hair. Pacino also competes, in that regard.