NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 1, 2013

Stellar cast saves 'Stand Up Guys' from its own predictability

(Continued)

They make mild gags funnier than they have any right to be. A sequence at a bar where Pacino grinds up Walken’s heart medication and snorts it through a straw had me grinning in admiration. The idea is so-so, the execution priceless. By contrast, the go-for-broke jokes (like the sight gag of Val in the emergency room with drug-induced priapism) feel strained. Some of the best passages simply plunk the old pros down in a diner and let them talk, volleying dialogue back and forth like jai-alai champions.

I can’t argue that performers the stature of Pacino, Walken and Arkin don’t deserve better material, yet it’s so nice to have them onscreen together I’m in no mood to quibble.

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