The Old Man & the Gun (2018) by David Lowery
Review by Zach Dennis
Billed, fittingly, as the final performance by Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun feels like an appropriate swan song for the iconic actor. Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a man in his 70s who catches the attention of local authorities in Texas during the 1980s when he and two other elderly men take part in a string of bank robberies around the country.
Joining Redford is Danny Glover and Tom Waits with Casey Affleck, Tika Sumpter and Sissy Spacek rounding out the cast — the latter playing an adorable love interest of Forrest’s.
Writer/director David Lowery has a pencence for cops and robbers, going back to Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and even elements of Pete’s Dragon, and this seems to be his most crowd-pleasing and full expression of that genre. Redford slides into the role of Forrest Tucker, imbuing him with the charm and class that all but erodes the age and transports you to The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Great Gatsby. He’s wily, sly and as many of the bank clerks remark to John Hunt (Affleck), the cop trying to chase Forrest down, he throws out a smile to make it a little better.
This allows the film to settle into a cozy Americana vibe that’ll go down easy in the autumn months as prestige and late-blooming studio films flood the theaters. Much like its main character, The Old Man & the Gun takes its time getting places, lingering on the conversations between Forrest and Jewel (Spacek) or Teddy (Glover) and Waller (Waits) to add some character and personality to the ride.
Naturally, it all has to come crashing down, but Lowery steers it well enough to all go with the same leisurely flow. Nothing rushed or pushed to force our hands, just a calm sail of a movie that is always a welcome reprise when we want to be reminded of the power of a classic movie star.
And if this is his final curtain call, Redford sails off in fashion.