[Screen It]

"JUST GETTING STARTED"
(2017) (Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones) (PG-13)


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QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: The general manager of a retirement community must contend with a new resident who challenges him as the alpha male among all of the men and women there.
PLOT:
Having once lived across the country where he served as general counsel for a powerful mob family, Duke Diver (MORGAN FREEMAN) turned state's evidence, was entered into the witness protection program, and was relocated to the retirement community of Villa Capri in Palm Springs where he serves as the general manager. He's made everyone there happy, including his three close friends -- Joey (JOE PANTOLIANO), Larry (GEORGE WALLACE), and Burt (GRAHAM BECKEL) -- and is known as something of a ladies man, a status that is not gone unrecognized by a close circle of women -- Margarite (GLENNE HEADLY), Roberta (SHERYL LEE RALPH), and Lily (ELIZABETH ASHLEY).

But his status as the alpha male of the community is challenged upon the arrival of Leo McKay (TOMMY LEE JONES), an ex-military cowboy and Renaissance man who not only draws the interest of those three female friends, but easily bests Duke in whatever challenge he presents, be that gambling, golf, or what have you. His interest, however, is drawn to Suzie Quince (RENE RUSSO), a woman he and Duke believe is a new resident. Unbeknownst to them, she is a general manager for the company that runs the retirement community and has been sent there to see if any financial wrongdoing is at hand.

And unbeknownst to all of them, mob boss wife Delilah Bruno (JANE SEYMOUR) spots Duke in a TV commercial for the retirement community and -- upset that his cooperation with the feds sent her husband to prison -- orders her adult son, Oscar (MEL RAIDO), to enact some revenge and kill the former mob lawyer for her. With Duke believing those botched suspicious incidents are the result of Leo trying to supplant him in the eyes of those in the community, the two men try to prove who is the better man between them.

OUR TAKE: 0 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

A fellow reviewer jokingly stated that he didn't have time to see this film and thus instead simply took out a $20 bill and set fire to it. Trust me, that would be more interesting, funny and full of creative sparks than this complete and utter misfire.

Nothing is funny, everything feels forced, and writer/director Ron Shelton (who previously did the two macho men after the same woman storyline with "Bull Durham") simply wastes the talents of Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Renee Russo and everyone else. Get out your twenty and a lighter because you don't want to get me started on "Just Getting Started." One of the worst of the year (if not the worst), it rates as a 0 out of 10.




Reviewed December 8, 2017 / Posted December 8, 2017


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