The Old Man and The Gun, 5.5/10, seems like it made a mistake when attaching the tagline, “this is mostly true”, when perhaps it should have rather been: “this is mostly dull”. If this is Robert Redford’s last movie (as stated by himself but then counter denied by himself) then it truly isn’t the send off he deserves. As the star of the show, playing Forrest Tucker (the infamous charming bank robber), Redford delivers an excellent performance yet the extra components that surround him are slow in pace, interest and direction. Director David Lowery is well-known for his work on an array of short films. I can safely say that this is apparent within this film due to the promising parts when consolidated down. The film certainly had potential to amount to a brilliant short movie but for me, the lacking substance did not deserve the running time it did and could have been condensed to a concentrated narrative of a far shorter length.
The Old Man and the Gun follows Forrest Tucker on his audacious sting of bank robberies and the game of cat and mouse between him and the detective on the case – John Hunt (played by Casey Affleck). Hunt became incapsulated by Tucker’s love of the craft: the thrill of the chase and his life choice to not make a living, but to simply live. Tucker and his compadres (played by Danny Glover and Tom Waits) seem to effortlessly pull off the impossible with a genuine smile on their faces and never forgetting their pleases and thank yous. Their charisma shows how the quote your mum always told you rings true: manners take you far. As a result of total charm, their approach leaves behind victims that could only ever speak highly of the – press-named – Over the Hill Gang.
As I have previously mentioned, there are glimpses of beautiful onscreen character portrayal and individual set pieces. One that springs to mind is the bathroom scene with Tucker and Hunt: a scene I believe could have been a brilliant send-off for Redford’s career. It’s these kind of moments that make you totally understand why Redford would have chosen this feature as his last . At the centre of this movie, you have a man obsessed with the thrill of his craft, so much so, he is willing to pursue it to the bitter end – similarly to Redford as an actor. And it’s within those moments that you see Redford becoming fully invested in the gentlemen that was Tucker. These moments are where this film really does shine. For me, it’s just unfortunate that it is surrounded by a slow-paced, tonal mess. It’s as if within act one and a half, Lowery was within his flow of telling this remarkable tale of this interesting character but further into act 2 and 3, the flow is lost, similarly to my interest. It truly is such a shame. As you will see in the individual ratings for this movie, they are reasonably placed. The Old Man and The Gun is shot well, perfectly scored and is accompanied by some charming performances. It’s just the lack of momentum moving between the two hopeless main characters that resulted in my lack of enthusiasm towards this film.
Entertainment (of its genre): 5/10
Overall Rating: 5.5/10