Stand Up Guys **½ (R) It’s almost always a treat to watch old pros play to their strength in familiar waters. This crime drama with generous doses of humor and sentimentality serves up Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Alan Arkin in one last walk on the wild side. Pacino is fresh out of jail after 28 years for a robbery that went bad; partnerWalken kept in touch, and greets him at the gates. Arkin was their wheel man, now in a nursing home from end-stage emphysema, making one of the geezers a wheezer, too.
These guys were small timers, with little to show for their careers. Even worse, the Big Boss expects Walken to whack Pacino, because one of Al’s bullets killed the guy’s son in the battle that sent Al up the river. No credit for his long silence that kept the rest of them out of prison. The film covers a long day and night that may, or may not, be Al’s last. That’s time enough for some hookers, boozing, burglary and bloodshed, along with covering a subplot, or two.
Walken and Pacino are the tough guys, with Arkin adding a different skill set to their criminal capabilities. They could have called the film Two and a Half Thugs. Whatever the premise, the trio sells the product nicely, and should please their legions of fans, as the actors and their characters live up to the title. (2/1/13)