Just Getting Started

2018-12-21 13:45


Duke Diver (Morgan Freeman) is the freewheeling manager of a luxury Palm Springs resort, the Villa Capri. He may have a mysterious past, but he’s a pro at making sure that life for the high-spirited residents is one big, non-stop party. The status quo is challenged when ex-military charmer Leo checks in, triggering a competition between Duke and Leo (Tommy Lee Jones) for the top spot of Alpha male, as well as for the affections of the newly-arrived Suzie (Rene Russo). When Duke’s past suddenly catches up with him, the rivals put aside their differences and the two men reluctantly team up to stop whoever is trying to kill Duke, and also save the Villa Capri.


There’s something a bit jarring about watching a movie set in Christmas time in January. Though nothing is as jarring as watching Morgan Freeman play a womanising prick that has a drunk scene, something that no audience ever wanted. It somehow managed to drag Tommy Lee Jones down with it, forcing ancient comedy that relies on old sexist ideas that will make an audience in the 21st century cringe.

You could even see the actors knew how bad it was, as they grimace their way through this awful, mediocre debacle that somehow comes from Oscar-nominated director Ron Shelton. His last big hitter was in 2003, and Just Getting Started seems to come from the same era.

Ageing playboy Duke (Freeman) has his turf at a luxury resort threatened by a mysterious businessman (Jones), and both end up vying for the attention from the same woman. As their sexist courting continues, Duke’s shady past hits back with a vengeance, and he turns to his worst enemy for help.

First up, no woman wants to see this atrocious movie. It feels like it was written for a generation where rampant toxic masculinity hasn’t been called out yet by society, and packages it as the ‘good ol’ days’. Two old men act as if they own this woman and that she somehow owes them something for their attentions. The worst part is that the movie is even aware of this misogyny and makes a weak attempt to address their behaviour but there’s never really any repercussions, and one even ends up with the ‘prize’ at the end.  

It’s such a B-grade movie, your brain just can’t grasp how Freeman and Jones got roped into this, and it’s even more of a travesty that this was the late Glenne Headly’s last film, reduced to an ageing Gaston’s Bimbette. Just Getting Started is a comedy so outdated that it’s hard to believe it came out in 2017. 

And if you think a drunk Freeman hitting on a woman in a Santa Clause outfit is bad enough, Jane Seymour’s rendition of a vengeful mob wife is equal parts terrifying and ludicrous, and I really hope her agent was fired after this. The only reason that I can think that these actors even considered being in this train smash is that they’re really, really good friends with the director. You couldn’t even see passion from Shelton for his mad creation, and he wrote the stupid script, and you know it’s a turd when a Christmas movie comes out in January.

It is everyone’s cinematic duty to make sure their parents and grandparents aren’t duped into Just Getting Started’s blatant cash grab, and that everyone should start a fund to save Freeman from such future blunders. The humour is so out-of-touch you feel like you time-travelled to the early 2000s, and you’re wishing you could return to present time. 

Read more on:    morgan freeman  |  tommy lee jones  |  movies

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