“Just Getting Started” stars Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo, and Glenne Headly. Released on December 8, 2017, the film is about a former mob lawyer who comes across an ex-FBI agent at a retirement home.
The film is directed by Ron Shelton, who also directed films such as Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump, Tin Cup, and Hollywood Homicide. Aside from the wide expansion of The Disaster Artist, this is the only new film I’ll be looking at this weekend. The first time I found out about it was from the poster I discovered while I was working at the cinema. At first, I didn’t know what it’s about, but when I saw the marketing for it a couple of months later, I already became interested. I mean, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones starring in a movie together? Who doesn’t want to see that? More importantly, are they able to deliver my expectations?
The story follows Duke Diver (Freeman), a former mob lawyer who resides at villa Capri. When an FBI agent named Leo (Jones) shows up, these two people get into a personal feud with one another, but soon must put aside their differences in order to figure out who’s attempting to take Duke out of the picture. Oh, and since the movie is released in December, the director decided to have the entire story take place during the holiday season. So…are we allowed to call it a holiday movie? First off, I would like to point out that I enjoyed watching these two talented people together. I thought Freeman and Jones did a pretty decent job with their performances even though none of them were at its finest. Rene Russo was also OK in the role. I wasn’t expecting anything more from her. Then again, I haven’t been seeing her a lot in her other movies. Other than that, I was shocked to see how disappointing the film turned out. It had a stunning cast and an interesting concept, but Ron Shelton did absolutely nothing to make it stand out, let alone entertaining. The film as a whole is just as rusty as the seniors in a retirement home. The film’s story basically consists of Freeman and Jones bickering at one another like two siblings fighting over a small carton of milk, along with some small bits of action during the third act. So unless you’re a fan at that sort of thing, it can get pretty tiring for you really fast. Speaking of which, the final act of the film was the only thing that captured my interest. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to cover the fact that the ending was a bit abrupt and the action parts were extremely underwhelming. Seriously, how could they messed up something that makes action comedies a joy to watch? Of course, the action wasn’t the only one that left me feeling blue. Nope, it was the comedy aspect that immediately walked out the door and never came back. While I did find a couple of moments amusing, the rest of the jokes wound up either flat or unmemorable. I also think that the development between the characters could’ve been a lot better, especially the relationship between the two main characters.
Overall, despite its talented cast and its humorous concept, “Just Getting Started” should’ve stayed in a retirement home. With its weak and dull storytelling, underwhelming humor, and poorly developed characters, this is probably the most disappointing comedy I’ve seen since Netflix’s Little Evil back in September. They seriously got the tools they need to make an entertaining action comedy, but alas, they failed to take advantage of them. If you like the main actors that are in it, I would say wait for it to appear on television.