I wasn’t expecting much from “Just Getting Started”, but I enjoy some of Ron Shelton’s other films, and I like the cast. I also didn’t have much else better to do, so I went out to see it.
Just Getting Started seems like an appropriate name for this plot…
For the most part, this film is just kinda… there. It isn’t awful, but it also isn’t very good. I mildly chuckled frequently, but I never laughed particularly hard. The story is predictable, but it is enjoyable enough. I even thought of an obvious way that the film could have been slightly less predictable, but it didn’t happen because it went the more generic route. The film has two distinct portions. One is an “old folks” comedy that is rather enjoyable. The other is the action comedy that feels very derivative and unnecessary. I wish that Shelton would have stuck with it being a romantic comedy with a battle between the two male stars and infused more of his humor, and it could have been more enjoyable. The film is also secretly a Christmas movie, which wasn’t advertised, and definitely wasn’t necessary.
The film is not very well-made, either. The cinematography is mediocre at best. There were a lot of odd camera movements that looked like the camera operator caught an error in the middle of a take and chose to adjust it without letting the director know. Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones both look like they are having fun when they are competing against each other, but in almost every other scene, all of the actors including them feel like they are phoning in their performances. The film’s soundtrack is filled with variations on Christmas songs (and a cameo performance by Johnny Mathis that defies the film’s logic).
Overall, “Just Getting Started” wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t very good either. In fact, I was just starting to get really invested in the characters when the movie. It’s a shame that it wasn’t great fun with the talent behind and in front of the camera, but it’s distraction enough. This was a “Decent Watch”.
This review was written by Big Tuna of the Big Tuna on Film Blog. Make sure to check out the site for more great reviews.