Friday, October 19, 2018

Movie Review: "The Old Man & the Gun" (2018)

Director: David Lowery
Year: 2018
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Forrest Tucker is a bank robber and a senior citizen. He pulls off a string of robberies and evades capture, all while courting a woman he recently met.

The Old Man and the Gun 2018 movie still Robert Redford Sissy Spacek
"What'd be worse, if I was lying to you, or telling you the truth about this?" (Image Source)
The moral of the story is that it's perfectly fine to rob banks as long as you're polite while you do it. "The Old Man and the Gun" is written and directed by David Lowery, who is known for directing films like the "Pete's Dragon" remake and "A Ghost Story." This film is based on a New Yorker article by David Grann and is said to be "mostly a true story." Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) is a bank robber who has been in and out of prison his whole life. Now, Forrest is in his 70's, but that doesn't mean he has slowed down one bit. He continues his spree of bank robberies with his two elderly accomplices Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits). While looting banks, Forrest begins to court a widowed ranch owner named Jewel (Sissy Spacek) and falls for her rather quickly. Meanwhile, police detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) attempts to track down the person responsible for committing the robberies.
The Old Man and the Gun 2018 movie still Robert Redford Casey Affleck
"You could quit...or you could try and catch him." (Image Source)
We never expected our reaction to a movie about a notorious bank robber to be "awwww, that's cute!," but such is the case with "The Old Man and the Gun." This story is more of a character sketch about Forrest Tucker than anything else, with an emphasis on the romantic side of his life. Hell, it even romanticizes his crimes. His relationship with Jewel is front and center and is probably the most compelling part of the film. Robert Redford is as charming as ever, and he is perfectly cast as a polite, well-polished bank robber with a perpetual smile. Redford and Sissy Spacek have brilliant chemistry as an older couple finding love late in life. From the moment they are on screen together, there is an instant spark between the two. There is also a law enforcement side of this story as Casey Affleck's character John Hunt tries to track down whoever is perpetrating these bank robberies. We felt that this aspect seems a little underdeveloped. Though there are several scenes of Hunt's ongoing investigation, they seem to exist purely to deliver exposition about Tucker's past and his long list of criminal activities and escapes. Finally, there a couple of other characters come in and out of the story, and while some of them are explored in-depth (Waits' Waller and Glover's Teddy), others are mentioned once and never brought up again.
The Old Man and the Gun 2018 movie still Robert Redford Danny Glover Tom Waits
"How did the same three guys get away with all that?" (Image Source)
The point of "The Old Man and the Gun" is not to be an exciting crime thriller. It's not going to keep you on the edge of your seat, and it won't make you give a thunderous applause post-film. Its purpose is to tell the unusual story of a man who happens to be a criminal because it gives his life purpose. Some may find this movie glamorizing criminal activity but look how many gangster movies Martin Scorsese/Quentin Tarantino/John Woo people have idolized and romanticized over the years. While this particular film won't win any awards, it is the perfect send-off to one of the greatest actors of all time. If we don't ever get the chance to see Robert Redford in any other films, well, this is one way to go out with a bang, even if that bang doesn't come from the proverbial old man and his gun.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.4/10
RT Rating: ~90%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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