THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

Cert 12A 92mins Stars 4

Hollywood legend Robert Redford pulls the curtain down on his long acting career with this wonderfully warm and spirited character-driven comedy drama.

The remarkable tale of a real life career criminal, it’s a deft, funny and surprisingly life affirming caper which is every bit as smart and accomplished as its star.

Redford plays bank robber Forrest Tucker, the dapper leader of a team of geriatric bank robbers who the media nickname, ‘The Over the Hill Gang’, after they go on a courteous spree of low-tech bank heists across five US states.

They’re slowly pursued by Casey Affleck’s hangdog detective cop who is determined to catch the thieves after letting them slip though his fingers.

And a luminous Sissy Spacek shares a marvellous sparkly chemistry with Redford as a horse whispering widow who catches Tucker’s eye.

Director David Lowery previously made the Disney terrific live-action 2016 remake of Pete’s Dragon in which Redford had a minor role.

As camera moves and jazz score offer reminders of Redford’s 1970’s heyday, the tone of nostalgic lament deliberately echoes that of 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The cowboy classic saw Redford in his most enjoyable and best remembered role as a gunslinging outlaw alongside Paul Newman, and Tucker is clearly intended as a septuagenarian spin on the Sundance Kid. 

Occasionally if understandably indulgent with many other nods and winks to Redford’s prestigious career, this misty-eyed eulogy offers an explanation as to why he first took to acting and then stuck with it.

The tremendous supporting cast includes Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss, Keith Carradine, Tika Sumpter and John David Washington – but it’s Redford’s show all the way.

They don’t make films like this or film stars like him anymore, and it’s all credit to Redford that after an astonishing career of nearly sixty years, the Kid leaves us crying out for more.

 

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