The Austin Chronicle

Just Getting Started

Rated PG-13, 91 min. Directed by Ron Shelton. Starring Glenne Headly, Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Dec. 15, 2017

Occasionally a movie surfaces packed with iconic actors who seem to have stumbled in from an alternate reality where films like Just Getting Started never even had a chance at getting green-lit. An action-comedy aimed at the AARP set (who should be offended and outraged), Shelton’s “wacky” take on the sex lives of people over 65 and macho male competition for the title of “Head Lothario” is abysmal, unfunny, and ultimately, completely unnecessary.

The plot, cobbled together from a seemingly endless collection of other, better films, casts Freeman as Duke, the manager of the Villa Capri, a Palm Springs resort catering to retired yet still very horny guests. Duke spends his days out on the links and his nights bedding a bevy of ladies. Prone to preening, Duke is cock of the walk until shady newcomer Leo (Jones) arrives and the battle of the aging egos commences in full. These two testosterone-fueled alpha males find their dueling libidos focused on newcomer Suzie (Russo), who’s been sent from the home office to fire an unaware Duke. The mafia’s involved in all this machismo hullabaloo, too, but so weirdly convoluted is the storyline – Shelton scripted – that nothing ever really makes sense. It’s certainly not a comedy, and it does absolutely no favors to its surprisingly game cast. If this is what the “golden years” are going to be like, count me out. I’ll be on a beach in Bali, drink in hand, watching the sunset and musing on the foibles and follies of certain cinematic train wrecks.

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