With two Academy Awards and plenty of great performances between them, Freeman and Jones are far too talented for this dreadful, unfunny senior comedy/adventure. While it's easy to understand why many older actors would take just about any big-screen role, you'd think Hollywood legends like these two stars wouldn't have to do phoned-in performances in lazily written films. What hope is there in Hollywood if two of the best actors of their generation must spend their golden years in drivel like this? Why can't filmmakers follow strong examples of movies with elderly ensembles like Cocoon, Red, On Golden Pond, and Grumpy Old Men that are still poignant, funny, and even action-packed?
Veteran director Ron Shelton, whose last film (Hollywood Homicide) came out more than a decade before Just Getting Started, doesn't seem to know what kind of movie he wants to make: a thriller, a love-triangle romcom, or a buddy comedy/adventure. None of it comes together, even with established and acclaimed supporting characters like Joe Pantoliano, comedian George Wallace, Graham Beckel, Elizabeth Ashley, and the late Glenne Headly, in her final on-screen performance. The comedic parts aren't funny (like when the live camels in a living nativity run away, or when Freeman and the ladies exchange overt innuendo), and the action parts aren't dramatic. Basically, very little is surprising or redeeming in the story. On the bright side, the actors look like they must have enjoyed the sunny desert where they shot the film. Still, there's really no reason to recommend this comedy other than its cast.