STAND UP GUYS
Aging criminal Val (Al Pacino), just released from prison, joins pals Doc (Christopher Walken) and Hirsch (Alan Arkin) for one night of reliving the past. But Doc has a secret agenda: to kill Val or be killed himself by mobster Claphands (Mark Margolis). "Stand Up Guys" is an engaging crime caper thanks to the excellent performances of the stellar cast. While this plot has been done many times before, the witty dialog and chemistry between Pacino and Walken give this familiar story a refreshing spin. The inclusion of Arkin adds to the pleasure. Actor-turned-director Fisher Stevens skillfully blends comedy with drama, eliciting both laughter and tears. Among the supporting players are Julianna Margulies as Hirsch's daughter and Lucy Punch as a friendly madam, but Noah Haidle's script clearly rests on the shoulders of the two stars. A welcomed bonus is the soundtrack that includes two new songs written and performed by Jon Bon Jovi that pretty much sum up the story. As with most movies of this genre, there's an explosive final showdown. The ending is presented in a creative way that's left open to interpretation. This film's tagline is "They don't make 'em like they used to". In the case of the stand out "Stand Up Guys", they still do.