Film Review – The Old Man and the Gun (2018)

Title – The Old Man and the Gun (2018)

Director – David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints)

Cast – Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, John David Washington

Plot – Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford), a 70 plus year old criminal that had a fondness for breaking out of jail and robbing banks, leading to an infamous crime spree across the United States in the 1980’s.

“I’m not talking about making a living. I’m just talking about… living”

Review by Eddie on 26/03/2019

It what’s supposed to be screen legend Robert Redford’s last cinematic appearance, The Old Man and the Gun is sadly a rather forgettable outing that’s based on a true life story that promised to offer so much more for fans of the living legend.

On paper, a match made in movie heaven, with Redford playing bank robber/prison breaker Forrest Tucker, a 70 plus year old con that finds enjoyment in the simple things like holding up poor bank tellers and stealing cars off mothers, Gun appeared set to give Redford a deserving send-off, yet while the Hollywood icon is great in his turn, David Lowery’s film never gets close to achieving its potential.

Hot off the great family adventure Pete’s Dragon and the critical darling A Ghost Story, Lowery is a fine filmmaker and has attracted a standout cast to surround Redford in the forms of aged actors Sissy Spacek as Tucker’s potential new love interest Jewel, Danny Glover and musician Tom Wait’s as Tucker’s criminal offsiders Teddy and Waller and the ever-mumbling Casey Affleck as the cop hot on Tucker’s tail John Hunt, but Gun lacks the heart and soul that would’ve made it a film of true note.

We never get to the bottom of Tucker (or any characters at that matter), he remains a relatively aloof figure in his own film, while crucially and detrimentally to the film, Redford’s screen time is constantly sporadic, with far too much airtime allowed for Affleck’s chase of the geriatric gang, in turn making it feel like we’ve been robbed from more Redford magic and character building that would’ve really allowed Gun to resonate more on an emotional level.

Gun is the type of film that’s filled with a spattering of great individual scenes that never combine to create the cohesive package, particularly disappointing when you feel like you’ve been robbed from extra Redford, as his the best thing about the film and with all things considered, it would’ve been wise for Lowery to dedicate more allotment of time for Redford to do his thing.

The other production flaw that brings Gun down is the horribly intrusive and far to prevalent jazz themed score by Daniel Hart.

Often taking over scenes and more often than not playing out for too long at a time, Hart’s score is a telling example of when music goes bad and does the polar opposite of what it’s supposed to do, draining a scene rather than enhancing it.

Final Say –

Redford’s as great as you’d expect in a tale that should’ve been far more of a cinematic delight than it is. Worth it for the reminder of Redford’s evergreen charisma and charm, sadly the rest of Old Man and the Gun leaves a lot to be desired.

2 boots full of cash out of 5

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