Movie Review – The Old Man & The Gun

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The Old Man And The Gun – Lightweight fluff that serves as an entertaining send-off for actor Robert Redford in his last film role. Despite not much substance, there are still plenty of reasons to watch this movie. The story is simple enough. An aging thief uses his experience and charm to steal from banks throughout the midwest while evading the authorities and wooing a local woman he met in the course of his business. Robert Redford is suave as ever playing the gentleman bandit who lives by a noble code of non-violence, using his personality and wiles to coerce bank employees to hand over the money. Sissy Spacek is in fine form as well as the love interest to Redford’s witty rogue and Casey Affleck provides adequate support as the cop who wants to bust the elusive criminal. The film also has actors Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Elisabeth Moss in supporting roles. But this film belongs to Redford. If it wasn’t for the fact that Redford has stated this film is the last of his illustrious career, one could dismiss this feature as a mere star vehicle or vanity piece. However, in this case, the movie serves more as a career retrospective and tribute to the actor. The script is full of witty dialogue and subtle homages to Redford films of the past. There is a running joke about how his character has never ridden a horse (Redford was the Sundance Kid for cryin’ out loud!), references to his crime films of the early seventies such as The Hot Rock and The Chase, and even his old mugshots are photos from The Sting and Brubaker. The Old Man And The Gun is a nostalgia piece, but a very good one; just the type of old-fashioned film-making that you rarely see any more. It’s no classic, but it has its moments of movie magic and is a quality end to a fine career.