It’s hard to know what to say about Going in Style because it’s a movie that wishes to bother you as little as possible. Want a couple of mildly wacky heists? Medium-rare banter between three great actors and a fairly committed supporting cast? Obstacles but not too many obstacles? Zach Braff has got your back.
We’ve all wondered, at least for a moment, what we would do if we were the only person on Earth. Would we explore the remains of society, hole up in shelter or simply bask in the planet’s daunting silence? It’s a fun question and one that writer-director duo Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan examine in Bokeh. For Riley (Matt O’Leary) and Jenai (Maika Monroe), a young American couple vacationing in Iceland, this query of what to do if the human race vanished isn’t hypothetical. One morning, they wake up and discover that it has become their reality.
I have no doubt that a movie like The Other Half takes considerable emotional dedication to make (of course, this could be argued about any movie). For lead actors Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen, it very well may have been draining. As a couple in real life, the struggles and pains of their characters’ troubled onscreen relationship must have felt, on one hand, more accessible and, on the other, far more intimate and difficult. Joey Klein, the film’s writer and director, builds on an already restrained tone with muted color motifs and a dour landscape.
Movies like Wolves occupy a safe middle ground. They are here to show us a story that has been told before with the hope to entertain us in the moment. It’s modest filmmaking, discarding subversive aspirations and daring ideologies in favor of tried and true formulas.
Whether or not it works depends on your tolerance for such things. Writer/director Bart Freundlich admirably shapes his story based on these principles, and while never impressing the audience, he crafts with a sturdy hand and brings about well-rounded performances.