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.