REVIEW — “The Old Man & the Gun”
The Old Man & the Gun is charming crime comedy film starring, for the last time, Robert Redford. The story revolves around a recently escaped convict by the name of Forrest Tucker (Redford). While escaping he finds a woman named Jewel (Sissy Spacek) and strikes up a relationship with her that develops into a form of escapism for the seasoned bank thief. After meeting Jewel, he goes right back to life he knows. Robbing banks with his crew. His charisma shocks everyone he robs, with most bank managers even saying that they kinda like the guy sticking them up. These string of bank robberies alerts a detective named John Hunt (Casey Affleck) who becomes obsessed with pursuing this charming caper creator. As time goes on, more and more attention gets attached to Forrest, FBI and the media have now caught wind of his crimes. Now Forrest must weigh the benefits of staying in his criminal lifestyle or trying to break out of it.
Redford’s charisma bleeds out of the screen to charm the audience. If this truly is his last performance, it is a swan song. His infectiously delightful acting reminds us why he is a titan in Hollywood history. While I wouldn’t say this performance is a shoe-in for the Oscars, I would keep your ear to the ground this awards season to see if Redford sneaks in some awards nominations. He does a fantastic job of breathing life into Forrest, he makes this admittedly clever criminal seem like the most friendly man on the planet. While he is not a violent criminal, he is definitely a focused one. This could have led to a wacky performance, yet I can’t help but think that Redford had the right amount of temperance to really center the character and make him immensely more relatable.
This small story crime-comedy really served its purpose. I don’t think that this movie is trying to be anything bigger than it is, it’s a small-scale tale and the film doesn’t try to be pretentious. Director David Lowery does a great job servicing the original story. While I am not personally familiar with the (I guess allegedly?) true story of Forrest, you can tell just by looking at the screen that a lot of thought was put into trying to compliment the enigma that is Forrest. The writing is also well done. This a perfect blend of crime and comedy, a la feelgood story. This blend of genres creates a new layer of accessibility that I think audeinces are really gonna love whenever they see The Old Man & the Gun.
I liked The Old Man & the Gun. It’s hard for me to say that I love the film, but it a really fun Sunday flick. To be honest, this wouldn’t be a bad one to take the parents to. It’s an all-around charming story that will keep you smiling and wondering, who the Hell is this Forrest Tucker guy? 4/5