|Directed by||:||Ron Shelton||Produced by||:||Bill Gerber, Steve Richards||Starring||:||Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo||Production company||:||Entertainment One||Country||:||United States|
'Just Getting Started': Film Review
Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones play rivals who must join forces to fend off a mob hit in Ron Shelton's action comedy.
A film that is not screened in advance for the press is not likely to be an undiscovered masterpiece. But it is not necessarily going to be as bad as such neglect suggests. Just Getting Started, the first feature written and directed by Ron Shelton in more than a decade, is sneaking into theaters without much attention. Shelton, the filmmaker behind such hits as Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump and Tin Cup, hasn’t matched those movies with his new comedy, but given his track record and the cast he’s assembled, headed by Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, he deserved a better break.
The faltering studio behind the film, Broad Green Pictures, has rightly positioned the movie as a holiday release, aimed squarely at older audiences. It’s set in a retirement community in Palm Springs over the Christmas holidays, and Shelton finds humor in the incongruity between the sunlit desert and the ostentatious Christmas decorations. (Most of the film was actually shot in New Mexico, with just a few establishing shots of the California enclave.) Duke (Freeman) is top dog in the community, with a number of women vying for his sexual attention and a few cronies who are happy to act as lapdogs. But his position is threatened by a mysterious new arrival, Leo (Jones), who challenges him on the golf course and in the boudoir.