Slick and stylish with all the right ingredients or a unique heist movie, The Old Man & The Gun is an ode to some of the silver screen’s classics of the genre, including The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. From its jazzy tunes and freewheeling vibe to the clever trick of finding an excuse to put Robert Redford back on a horse – fans of the classic “cool guy” genre of crime capers are in for a cinematic treat.
And, much like those 1970s classics, the whole movie is based on the true story of a criminal, except this one isn’t your normal gunslinger. In fact, despite the name of the movie, the only gun he really wields is the one you can make with your hand.
That’s how Forrest Tucker (played by Redford) apparently went about his business and the movie depicts his string of heists carried out at the grand old age of 70, along with an over-the-hill gang of grandads.
The heists struck a chord with the public because of how easily they were carried out by a gentleman such as Tuckerm who seemingly charmed his way into the vaults.
Another person charmed by Ticker is the detective assigned to his case John Hunt, played brilliantly by Casey Affleck.
Redford said this is his final performance, and if that turns out to be true then it’s a fitting way to end such an illustrious career. The part was made for him and it plays out like a best of Redford montage. The style, the swagger, the glint in his eye, it’s all there. He wins over the audience as much as the people on screen.
Much like his hostages, it’s hard to find Tucker as the bad guy in this film, he is just a man who has found a love in his craft.
Director David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Pete’s Dragon) deserves credit for his use of Redford, in this loving homage to one of Hollywood’s greatest actors and the movies he made in the past.
This is not just an exercise in nostaglia, however. The action is taut, the script is snappy and the performances (including those from Danny Glover and Tom Waits) are routinely excellent.
WHAT IS IT...
A charming tale of a real-life bankrobber
Robert Redford’s rightful swan song
Out now (PG15)