Picks and Pans Review: Going in Style

updated 02/04/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/04/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Growing old can be a dreary business. Sitting on park benches, feeding pigeons and waiting for Social Security checks do not make for snappy conversation. Nor do they provide the foundation for a particularly entertaining movieā€”not even when venerable actors like George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg are cast as the pigeon feeders. The film flashes only briefly to life when the three old codgers pull a bank job to relieve their boredom. In unspoken homage to another old hand, they sport Groucho Marx glasses during the heist. The casting is perfect: Burns, Carney and Strasberg look old, act old and, at 84, 61 and 78, aren't exactly a youth corps. Yet considering the mother lode of acting talent and experience assembled here, director Martin Brest's first commerical effort falls flat. It is mildly diverting without being funny. When the end comes, it is not unwelcome, for protagonists and audience alike. (PG)

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