Disappointing is the word that best describes the latest film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman. Just Getting Started is a sad attempt to make a bland and boring story entertaining.
The story of this film centers on the director of a retirement community, Duke (Freeman), who is known for his over-the-top personality and sense of style. In his position as director, he views the community like a king overlooking his realm. This soon changes when a new resident Leo (Jones) moves in and begins to upset the usual way of doing things.
Angry at this turn of events, Duke works to find a way to beat Leo at his own game and return atop his perch as the top dog in the community.
Just Getting Started seemed like an interesting take on the classic rivalry type movies like “Grumpy Old Men” or "The Odd Couple.”
Instead of building on the formula created by these films, “Just Getting Started” bellyflops into the pool —
hard. In several scenes, the jokes seemed labored and didn’t really connect with the audience.
Along with the jokes, the story in this film seemed to borderline on the absurd. The times when Leo and Duke are trying to best each other through activities like golf, their banter just feels childish and petty. At these moments, it left me not caring about what would develop between the two or their stupid rivalry.
During these times a fellow audience member seemed to agree with me on this point. I heard her remark to her date stating, “Can we go now?”
Her date replied, “We can, but we've already been here for half so we might as well see this through to the end.”
To make matters worse, the movie also felt like I was watching an infomercial.
Leo is a southerner who drives a pickup truck. Following a high-speed chase of a guy that is trying to kill Duke, Leo starts to rant about the damage done to his truck. In his rant, he starts rattling off the features of his Ford F-150 like the off-road capabilities and the specific paint color: “ruby red.”
The last time I recall product placement to this extent was in Aaron Paul’s film, “Need for Speed,” where the new Ford Mustang was out in front.
Just Getting Started is a poor film and a sad mark on the resumes of great actors like Freeman, Jones, and Rene Russo. This is a movie that should be missed. While its trailer shows something with a little bit more depth, the final product does not deliver on its promises.
I give this film zero out of five mustaches.
It is rated PG-13 for language, suggestive material, and brief violence. It runs 91 minutes.
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