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Film review: 'Stand Up Guys' falls down to clichés

Published February 1, 2013 10:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The cliché-ridden gangster comedy/drama "Stand Up Guys" serves as proof that nobody tells Al Pacino and Christopher Walken what to do — and that maybe someone should.

Pacino plays Val, out of prison after 28 years and picked up by his last friend, Doc (Walken), who has orders from a mob boss (Mark Margolis) to kill Val by morning. Soon Val figures this out from Doc's mournful demeanor, and the two proceed to spring their old cohort Hirsch (Alan Arkin) from the nursing home for a series of adventures into the long night — including visits to a brothel, the theft of some criminal's sports car and the rescue of the young woman (Vanessa Ferlito) locked in the trunk.

Director Fisher Stevens thinks he'll strike comic gold by letting Pacino and Walken riff, but they never really spark off each other. Rookie screenwriter Noah Haidle's script, laden with false starts and underdeveloped characters, is too rickety a foundation on which to build any laughs or emotions.

— Sean P. Means

movies@sltrib.com; http://www.sltrib.com/entertainment

H

'Stand Up Guys'

Opens Friday, Feb. 1, at area theaters; rated R for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug use; 94 minutes.