IN STAND UP GUYS, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken have a natural chemistry that makes you wish they'd appear together in a movie that doesn't require Pacino to get blood sucked out of his tumescent old boner. Dear Hollywood: Not every movie about old guys needs a Viagra joke. I promise, no one's going to walk out angry if you skip it just this once. Is Pacino just trying to compete with De Niro again? De Niro let Ben Stiller stab him in the boner in Little Fockers, so now Pacino has to get his dick drained too? Guys, guys: This is no longer the type of Beatles/Beach Boys rivalry that makes you both better.
As you may have already gathered, Stand Up Guys' script is its Achilles' heel. Its Achilles' boner, say. We open with Christopher Walken picking up Al Pacino after a 28-year stint in the joint. The knock-around guys and former partners are each other's only friends—making it that much sadder that Walken has been sent to kill Pacino. Pacino knows he's doomed, and they've got one last night together to make it count, which they do by banging hookers, boosting cars, and breaking Alan Arkin out of an old folks' home. It's sort of a poor man's In Bruges. A poor, old man's In Bruges, with bad Viagra jokes.
It's a shame the filmmakers didn't seem to know whether they were making In Bruges or The Expendables. Stand Up Guys is a sort of hybrid bromance/action movie, and in the quieter moments, it sings in the way that vintage Sopranos did, with the appeal of watching salty old shit-givers ball-bust each other as they try to understand the modern world. There's a wistful melancholy between Walken and Pacino that's endlessly compelling. But about half the time, the construct of the movie ruins it: Everyone makes fun of them for being old! Because they're old, get it? But these old salts are up to their salty old tricks, and these whippersnappers better watch out!
Remember when old guys used to rely on their wisdom and guile and life experience to put one over on the young 'uns? These days, the old guys just punch the young 'uns in the face like some City Slickers fantasy camp for aging actors. I think screenwriters have seen one too many Low T commercials.