I managed to make it to a multiplex recently to see this remake of the ’70s comedy-caper that starred Art Carney and George Burns. I cannot recall whether I saw the original, however, I am familiar with the overworked plot. This formula has certainly been done to death over the years. It’s basically “Grumpy Old Men” rob a bank.

More specifically, Joe, Willie and Al are senior citizens and lifelong friends. All are financially frustrated for different reasons. Desperate, the three friends decide to rob the bank that holds their pension funds and take back what is rightfully theirs. Inspired by his own experience regarding another robbery, Joe originates the idea. At first, Albert and Willie are appalled, but eventually agree. The pals attempt to ‘train’ before the big event. Trying to shoplift some items from a grocery store results in a comic disaster and the trio turn to a criminal named Jesus to teach them the ropes. They plan an alibi using their lodge’s carnival as a cover. They disguise themselves as members of “The Rat Pack” (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) and use guns with blanks. 

In this case, the three principle players are a trio of Oscar winners — Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. Predictably, they are all very good in their roles, knocking off these characters, in this very traditional formula picture as if it was something that has NOT been done to death. So for that reason alone, I’ll give it a thumbs-up. Matt Dillon and Ann-Margaret, who coincidentally was also in “Grumpy Old Men”, co-star.

About the Author

Chad Spar
Chad Spar
Charles (known as "Chad" to his friends) Spar is an all-around "renaissance man", having worked in the psychology profession, the publishing industry, and is also an occasional actor. He majored in creative writing at Bowling Green State University, and also studied theater and acting at Ohio State University and Ohio Northern University. He has attended "Actors Creative Training", studying under Richard Brander (who coached such actors as Kevin Costner and Chuck Norris). He currently resides in Ada, Ohio.