“The Gentleman’s Bank Robber,” a review of “The Old Man and the Gun” by Nathan H. Box
Recommendation: 4/5 Stars, SHOWTIME
Director: David Lowery, Writers: David Lowery, David Grann, Starring: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek
Plot: “Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.” -IMDB
Review: If “The Old Man and the Gun” is indeed the final film in the storied and mammoth career of Robert Redford, then I could think of no better way for him to ride off into the sunset of his years than this film. It features a classic, character-focused story, utilizing all the magic of Mr. Redford’s films that we’ve come to adore. This is more than a movie. It is an exclamation point on the last sentence, of the last paragraph, of the last page, of a dissertation of how a career should properly be done in Hollywood. It stands as a testament to something we will never have again.
Redford plays Forrest Tucker who is often referred to as the gentleman’s bank robber. With every establishment he hits, he does so with a quiet and calm demeanor coupled with manners that would make any Southern woman blush with envy. As if the thrill of banking robbing wasn’t enough, Forrest finds himself in a budding relationship thanks to a chance encounter with Jewel played by Sissy Spacek. Of course, this relationship complicates things in the most surprising of ways as Forrest and his crew build toward bigger challenges.
Despite his manners, Forrest is breaking the law, and this means the law is giving chase. Casey Affleck plays a subdued police officer assigned with the duty of hunting Forrest and his men down. As the movie progresses and a chance meeting brings the two men together, we realize they are both pursuing different lives for the thrill of it.
The way in which the chase unravels itself is a thing of beauty; both men going head to head with Jewel in the middle. In the end, it is a betrayal that delivers Forrest to the authorities. As prison doors close on him, we wonder if he will ever see the light of day again; which isn’t something I am going to reveal here. Instead, I will say this film stands as a symbol of a life well lived for both Forrest and Redford. For all these reasons and so much more, I recommend seeing this one in a theater.
Be good to each other,
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