Movie Review: The Old Man & The Gun


Starring: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, and Casey Affleck
Directed By: David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon/A Ghost Story)
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes

          Allegedly, this will be Robert Redford’s final film.  I believe he’s said that before, but at age 82 I would tend to believe him this time around.  He’s an undeniable legend.  I’ll play the millennial in the room and admit I haven’t seen a ton of his work.  The Natural, All The President’s Men, and The Sting come to mind immediately.  Not much else for this young whipper snapper.  Can I count Captain America: The Winter Soldier just to bump the count up one?

          Redford plays a bank robber who, with the help of a crew, robs banks across the country with his charm and smile alone.  He says he has a gun, but no one can actually recall seeing the gun.  He doesn’t really worry about getting away with the crimes, because he’s an expert at breaking out of prison as well.  No one he robs seems to want Redford to be caught, because he’s so damn charming.

          Enter Casey Affleck’s character.  He’s the local cop tasked with ending the robbery spree.  He attempts to chase and catch Redford.  The two play a little game of cat and mouse throughout the movie.

          To elude the police, Redford pulls over to aid a distressed motorist, played by Sissy Spacek.  The two fall for each other as she tries to figure out who this charming gentleman really is.         

          The supporting cast is really solid.  Danny Glover and Tom Waits play the crew that works with Redford.  Casey Affleck is always wonderful, can never go wrong casting him.  Sissy Spacek is a delight.  She’s having a career renaissance of sorts after being away from the public eye the last five years.  But the movie 100 percent absolutely belongs to Redford.  With that twinkle in his eye, and gotta be fake grin, he owns the screen.  To the detriment of the movie.

           I found myself not caring one iota if Robert Redford’s character wasn’t on screen.  Casey Affleck, who I LOVE, couldn’t pull me in enough to care about the chasing of the bank robber.  I wanted to follow Redford and the crew around.  Whether he was robbing banks on whimsy alone, courting Spacek’s character, or shooting the bull with the gang after a job.  I just wanted Redford. 

           The Old Man and The Gun is a really solid movie.  Nothing wrong with it by any means, but I felt a little deflated at the end.  I wanted more.  Which is what a good movie leaves you feeling at the end.  But this is more like going to a fancy restaurant, paying a hundred dollars for a fine steak, and being brought a six ounce portion.  I’m unsatisfied.  It’s funny, it’s romantic, it’s exciting.  It doesn’t overwhelm you in any way, but he’s just so damn charming!  You’re not going to rave about it, but you’ll like what you see.

           If you grew up on the movies of Robert Redford, I highly recommend this to you.  If you like older movies, and feel there’s too much violence and sex in today’s films definitely go see this.  It’s a throwback type of movie.  Robert Redford is leaving the movie biz and calling his shot on his way out the door.  The Natural hits a solid double with me, but I wish it would have swung for the fences a little more. 

On a "See It/Stream It/Skip It" scale, I would vote Stream It.

If you liked The Sting, Ocean’s Eleven, or The Shawshank Redemption you might enjoy The Old Man and the Gun.  Although this was admittedly very difficult to find three similar movies.

2.5 out of 5 for The Old Man & The Gun

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