Friday, December 15, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 41
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
COCO
DADDY’S HOME
FERDINAND
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JUST GETTING STARTED
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

JUST GETTING STARTED

PHOTO BY BROAD GREEN PICTURES

JUST GETTING STARTED


Where is it playing?: Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: PG-13

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Morgan Freeman stars as Duke, the sleazy manager of a luxury Palm Springs resort, the Villa Capri, with a dark past that catches up with him. After spotting Duke on television (in an infomercial for Villa Capri), a mysterious woman (Jane Seymour) makes a phone call. “I found him!” she says before ordering the hit man on the other line to “take care of him.” It’s revealed that the woman is the wife of an incarcerated mob boss who Duke, once a seedy lawyer, betrayed years ago before changing his identity and relocating.

But that opening scene doesn’t amount to much as the film progresses. We’re only shown two failed attempts on Duke’s life and both of them take place at the Villa Capri golf coursea rattlesnake in his golf bag and a bomb on his golf cart. That’s it? I guess I’m just used to more ruthless portrayals of the Mafia in movies. I’m not saying rattlesnakes aren’t scary, because they ARE.

We’re given a car chase and a shoot-out during the film’s climax, but the majority of Just Getting Started ignores its initial premise and focuses on the uncomfortable relationships Duke forms with two recent arrivals to the resortLeo (Tommy Lee Jones), a new resident, and Suzen (Rene Russo), Duke’s new supervisor from the resort’s corporate office. We see Duke make a buffoon of himself in front of both of them. Some of his shenanigans include cheating at golf, getting in a fistfight with a Santa Claus, and seducing two women on the same night in separate rooms of his apartment.

Just Getting Started puts a lot of effort into singling out Duke as the most unsympathetic and irresponsible of the three leads, but Russo’s character is surprisingly just as unforgivable by the end of the film (at least on an ethical level). Her reason for not wanting the police involved (after finding out about the assassination attempts) is just as selfish as Duke’s (he doesn’t want to relocate again). She insists on keeping everything under wraps out of fear of losing her job if an incident at the resort became public (I guess none of the witnesses to the golf cart explosion made any inquiries?).

Even after Suzen is kidnapped, Duke and Leo (who has a mysterious past of his own) continue to pursue the assailant themselves without any assistance. But some police interferenceor interference from ANYONEmight have spiced things up a bit. There were a lot of people on the course the day the golf cart exploded. I don’t play golf so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about? Does that happen a lot? Are golf cart explosions a common thing? Or maybe Jones used his Men in Black character’s memory eraser thingy on the witnesses? (91 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood




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