Director: Ron Shelton
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo, Jane Seymour, Glenne Headly, Joe Pantoliano
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: Shaw
Official Website: http://www.justgettingstartedmovie.com
Opening Day: 28 December 2017
Synopsis: From Ron Shelton, writer/director of Tin Cup and Bull Durham, comes the new comedy, Just Getting Started. Morgan Freeman stars as DUKE DIVER, the freewheeling manager of the luxury Palm Springs resort, the Villa Capri. DIVER may have a mysterious past, but he's a pro at making sure that life for the high-spirited residents is one big, non-stop party. But the status quo is challenged when ex-military charmer LEO (Tommy Lee Jones) checks in, triggering a competition between Duke and Leo for the top spot of Alpha male, as well as for the affections of the newly-arrived SUZIE (Rene Russo). When Duke's past suddenly catches up with him, the rivals put aside their differences and the two men reluctantly team up to stop whoever is trying to kill Duke, and also save the Villa Capri.
Morgan Freeman, as most people would know, has an impressive track record. He has had many career highs, having received Oscar nominations for his roles in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009). He took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
The 80 year old is no stranger to blockbuster movies as well. Critics and fans loved Freeman’s portrayal of Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Besides his involvement in major studio projects like Olympus Has Fallen, Oblivion and Now You See Me (in our opinion, starring in three hits in the same year is quite a feat), Freeman’s “rich molasses” is also highly sought after (remember the blind wizard Vitruvius’s voice in The Lego Movie?).
Tommy Lee Jones, at the age of 71, has an equally impressive filmography. After clinching the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing a seasoned US Marshal in The Fugitive (1993), he continued to gain recognition for his performances in several high profile films like Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994), Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever (1995), Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black franchise, Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men (2007), Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) and Paul Greengrass’s Jason Bourne (2016).
American actress, producer and former model Rene Russo is 63 years old, and has starred in a number of action movies during the 1990s: Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), In the Line of Fire (1993), Outbreak (1995) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) are some of the titles that will be fondly remembered by viewers. In recent years, Russo gained attention by playing the titular superhero’s mother in Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). Her portrayal of a TV news director in Nightcrawler (2014) also earned her several acting accolades.
Wait – did we just pen four paragraphs of text about the main cast of this action comedy directed by Ron Shelton, and nothing about the movie itself? It seems that the less we talk about the 91 minute film, the better. What may have appeared to be a wonderful idea on paper (three Hollywood veterans in one movie) turned out to be a dreadfully dreary movie to sit through.
Freeman plays a manager of a retirement community and life is breezy until Jones’s former law enforcement official turns up to make things difficult. Enter Russo’s corporate lady character to audit Freeman’s business, and you conveniently hatch a plot about the two men trying to win her affection.
This production feels very much like a TV movie with its uninspired screenplay and embarrassingly bad humour. Sadly, it isn’t able to attain the “so bad it’s good” status. As a result, you will have to sit through one and a half hours seeing actors that you respect going through a series of bland and dull scenes. There is little chemistry between the main cast, and you wish the movie would roll its end credits soon. When this happens, the credits run over a sequence of Freeman dancing in a crowd, and you don’t really bother wondering why.
(The movie stars three talented veterans – let’s just keep it at that)
Review by John Li