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Arts and Entertainment Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 1 year ago

Robert Redford charms as a cunning criminal in 'The Old Man and the Gun'

The amazing chemistry between Redford and Sissy Spacek gives a tender side to this wildly entertaining crime story.

In the new film "The Old Man & The Gun," Robert Redford plays an elderly bank robber who loves his job. And at age 82, Redford hasn't lost an ounce of charm.

In this delightful true story about Forrest Tucker (Redford), we can't help but like this guy. Even the bank employees who he robs don't mind the inconvenience. The detective hot on his trail (Casey Affleck) cannot help admiring Tucker's modus operandi. Let's face it, his back story — robbing 18 banks, getting caught 18 times and escaping from prison 18 times — is impressive. But it's the escaping that gives Tucker the ultimate thrill.


He's also a good Samaritan. Just after pulling off a heist, he interrupts his getaway to help a woman with car trouble. When Jewel (Sissy Spacek) and Tucker pull into a diner for a bite, sparks immediately fly. She asks what he does for a living and he coyly replies that he robs banks. Yeah, sure. This guy could charm the knickers off a nun.

In a montage of Tucker's jailbreaks, we discover just what makes this not-so-badman tick. He loves the art of the chase. He doesn't consider his line of work about making a living, but rather, just living. And that gorgeous grin that he can't conceal while breaking the law proves that he's enjoying every minute of it. 

Director-writer David Lowery ("Pete's Dragon") seems as though his priority in "The Old Man & The Gun" is paying homage to the iconic Mr. Redford. Extreme close-ups of his ruggedly handsome face are welcomely abound. Lowery also brilliantly captures the devilishly delicious charisma, signature in Redford's work throughout his career. In a stroke of genius he pairs Redford up with a magnificent Sissy Spacek who's never been better. The chemistry between these two extraordinary actors is so subtle and tender that it nearly takes center stage in the movie.

Photo courtesy Boston Herald

There are some big names in some small roles adding to the nostalgic feel of the film. Tom Waits and Danny Glover as Tucker's sidekicks prove to be witty sages who ramp up the fun in this cat and mouse caper. And Elizabeth Moss suddenly shows up as Tucker's not so admiring daughter.

"The Old Man & The Gun" demonstrates that Robert Redford is and always has been the consummate actor. In a clip from "The Chase" (1966) we see Redford running from the authorities. It's a perfectly placed quick shot that almost goes unnoticed. But Robert Redford's presence on screen always stands out and always will.

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