Rating (3 out of 5)
The Old Man & the Gun is as titled and bank robberies are offset with a budding romance, which all result in a concise and entertaining movie.
Plot: Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) is 70 years old and still robs banks for a living. He meets a Jewel (Sissy Spacek) following a heist one day and starts falling for her, but policeman John Hunt (Casey Affleck) is hot on his trail. Based on a true story from the 1980’s.
What I Liked: For some reason I love watching scenes of bank robberies. The pure gall, bravery, and will an individual must possess to step into a bank and ask for other people’s money in a building designed to protect their money. The movie has a good pace when Forest and his crew scout or rob the banks.
The budding romance between Jewel and Forrest was entertaining, especially as they got to know each other and shared a little about their views, especially of aging. These were nice scenes, which thankfully, lacked the full nudity of movies of younger actors.
At first the police haven’t connected all these robberies together. John is in the bank where Forrest commits his robbery. John doesn’t realize there was a robbery until after the Forrest has left the bank. John starts making a bunch of connections, and realizes how many banks the Over the Hill Gang have committed. The chase can be as interesting as the heist and the sequence as John puts together the clues was well executed. I was cheering for John.
What I Didn’t Like: As I watched The Old Man & the Gun, I wanted to double check my ticket. I swear I was watching Out of Sight 2: Old Foley. The bank scenes and the concept of a polite bank robber was not entirely new.
Forrest is a selfish man. He was selfish as a young man as he left his wife, daughter and son behind. He was selfish by robbing the large bank even though he knew the authorities were on his trail. I believe the final scene where he robs those 4 banks further demonstrates his selfishness.
He didn’t love life, he was addicted to stealing, and we shouldn’t mistake the difference. A love of life and what life has to offer, is seeing or experiencing all earth’s wonders. He was a junkie out getting a fix, robbing a bank.
I can’t think of anything more difficult or more personal than how each and ever one of us deals with getting old. To say one persons way is better than another is ludicrous. In the final scenes, Jewel has sold her horses and is napping on the couch implying she has given up on life and Forrest goes off to rob some banks. The comparison implies a bad (Jewel) versus good (Forrest) approach to aging.
If Jewel was unable to physically deal with keeping horses, then selling the horse was best for her and horses. One day the knee works perfectly fine, then next day you need a new knee cap. Her story wasn’t told completely, making any comparison against her and Forrest unfair.
Forrest on the other hand kept doing the same thing he had always done. Stop a moment and analyze Forrest as a man. This is a sad story of a man who hasn’t grown or developed in 70 years. In the end, Forrest was a nice guy but useless person, who I failed to connect with the character as finally presented. I want to root for my hero, not be glad their behind bars.
Conclusion: As I write my recap, Old Man & the Gun is like Out of Sight: Foley 70. The saucy heat of J-Lo and Clooney has been replaced with burning embers of Redford and Spacek. I rewatch Out of Sight all the time. Out of Sight is one of annual favorites to rewatch. The Old Man & the Gun has the same medium pacing as Out of Sight but comes without the physical action and cussing.