1 1/2 Stars
Just Getting Started is a big disappointment from a group of very talented individuals. Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump) provides an aimless script that lacks the snappy dialogue present in his other (better) work. The story centers on three characters, and I’m not sure who the main character is supposed to be? Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones have winning chemistry. But we want to see these two teamed up working together, not engaging in an antagonistic relationship.
Duke (Morgan Freeman) manages the most luxurious retirement community in Palm Springs, California. He spends his days’ boozing, golfing, and chasing women. That’s until an efficiency expert (Renee Russo) is assigned to decide if Duke should be replaced. On top of that, a new resident (Tommy Lee Jones) is challenging Duke for supremacy on all fronts.
The laconic style of Shelton’s storytelling works against the film. This is a movie that needs zaniness. I understand that it is designed to appeal to an older demographic, but the madcap elements of the plot require a more youthful, energetic approach. Had this film stayed closer to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ playbook, it may have been successful. Just Getting Started is a non-starter.
Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo