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Film / Going in Style (2017)

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Going in Style is a 2017 remake of the 1979 comedy film of the same name, directed by Zach Braff and starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin. As in the original, Joe, Al and Willie are senior citizens trying to rob a bank.


Tropes:

  • Adaptational Heroism: This time, the robbers do need the stolen money because the company they used to work for cut their pension checks, the bank is cheating them and they fear trying to take it back legally will take longer than they hope to live.
  • Bank Robbery: What the three protagonists plan to do.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • It seems at first that Zach Braff is the bank robber and making a cameo. It's revealed that Jesus was the robber, and he can do a convincing Zach Braff impression.
    • Early on, Al makes a joke about outliving Willie and Joe, and promising to deliver both of their Eulogies. And at the end it looks like he suffered an ironic twist in dying on the operating table when giving Willie his kidney, only for Joe's "Eulogy" to be revealed as the speech as Al's Best Man at his wedding.
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  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Willie is likely to be the first protagonist to die because he needs a new kidney but he gets one and doesn't die.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Willie and Joe practice shoplifting at Value Town. They get caught immediately due to overstuffing their clothes and the security cameras nailing them. Even the Value Town manager is impressed at how badly their plan went.
    • When the protagonists are robbing the bank, the manager who earlier cheated Joe (and was a general slimeball) tries to shoot them. His targets remain still but he misses every single shot.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jesus refuses to take his share of the stolen loot when the heist goes off successfully. He reveals he was the bank robber that showed sympathy to Joe and that Joe deserves every cent.
  • Foreshadowing: The guy the protagonists offer a share of the loot in exchange for his help with planning the robbery counters them by saying he could rob the bank himself and keep all the loot. It turns out he's one of the robbers from the case Joe had witnessed.
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  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The protagonists, who may be planning a robbery, but all have elements that keep them from being simple thugs.
  • Justified Criminal: For Joe, the bank is foreclosing on his house using predatory rates and he is desperate and angry. Willie is worried he's going to die before seeing his family again, and Al wants revenge for his pension being stolen.
  • Karma Houdini: The company doesn't suffer any notable consequences for screwing over its employees. Granted, the movie focuses on the robbery after the freezing of pension funds is announced. So it could be possible there is public backlash, and the movie simply doesn't include it.
  • Karmic Jackpot: No one in the community gives up Joe, Willie or All the Value Town store manager does because he needs the bail money and it's his job. The trio end up gifting the excess money to everyone as thanks and inviting them to Al's wedding.
  • Master of Disguise: Joe is revealed to be one. He covers his face completely and uses a henna tattoo to lead the police along.
  • No Sympathy:
    • Played straight with Chuck. He's fine with having sold a predatory interest rate to a retiree, and only looks slightly discomfited about it.
    • Averted with the Value Town manager. He's annoyed at loyal customers for shoplifting but assumes they were going through something. The manager gives them coupons, doesn't call the cops, and lets them off with a warning.
  • Race Lift: Willie is an African-American in this movie.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • The Value Town store manager; he's annoyed at the men for their Epic Fail and lectures them on spreading flour all over Cindy the security guard during their attempt to get away. Rather than call the cops, though, he gives them extra coupons and lets them off with a warning. When he later shows the security camera to the FBI, it's justified in that he needs the reward money to get his family out of jail and besides which is his civic duty.
    • The FBI agent Hamer is this. He's a bit condescending but not bad overall. He investigates the three men on suspicion, but lets them go when he realizes that he has no case.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When the character who helped the protagonists to plan the caper comments on how it's every society's duty to care for its elders, Joe realizes he's the tattooed robber from the heist he witnessed.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Joe is the only protagonist who doesn't die in the first film. Neither of them dies in this one.
  • Unishment: The worst the protagonists expect to happen to them if caught is to receive free room and board and a better healthcare program.


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