‘Contrived, vulgar and stupid’: Going in Style and the rise of the geriatric buddy movie

The OAP gangster caper is the latest example of a Hollywood staple that’s well past its sell-by date – manipulative, nauseatingly heartwarming films that invariably seem to star Michael Caine

In the predictably inert, if not explicitly vile, geriatric buddy movie Going in Style, Michael Caine plays an octogenarian prole who is about to lose his home to a heartless bank. His cashflow problems necessitate the obligatory senior tete-a-tete with the obligatory insensitive bank manager, a stock character previously seen in Saint Vincent and Drag Me to Hell. Dissatisfied with the result of their little chinwag, Caine and his fellow retirees Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin decide to rob the bank.

Going in Style was co-produced by Steven Mnuchin, a hedge-fund manager recently named secretary of the US treasury by the irrepressible Donald Trump. During the financial crisis of 2009, Mnuchin made a fortune for himself by investing in a mortgage bank that had a nasty habit of foreclosing on peoples’ homes. In fact, he invested in several of these enterprises. Anyone who thinks the Age of Irony is dead should think again.

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