Said to be Robert Redford's adieu to the acting world - The Old Man and Gun is a must for fans of The Sundance Kid. From David Lowery, the man behind the cotton sheet of 2017's A Ghost Story, this western feature is adapted from a fascinating article by The New Yorker. Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker, The Old Man and the Gun chronicles how this dapper old-timer escaped confinement on sixteen separate occasions, and the string of his heists he pulled which baffled the authorities and beguiled the public.
This classic cowboy tale is overwhelmingly charming. Taking place in the early 80's The Old Man and the Gun is a time-honoured fable, unfolding like a love-letter to the tremendous Robert Redford. Lowery's filmmaking is extremely reminiscent of John Wayne's most iconic western features, he plays on the nostalgia of stetsons, guns, bank robberies and horses and in turn creates an authentic style of picture you rarely see made in this day and age. The Old Man and the Gun is dated in all the best ways, with the humble simplicity of its story and Redford's relationship with Cissy Spacek's character Jewel. Even aesthetically the film is gorgeously old-fashioned. Sprinkled with a fuzzy, grainy detail, The Old Man and the Gun is stylistically rooted in the past.
If this really is the curtain call for Redford's career then so be it. The Old Man and the Gun is tailored made, stitched and measured with precision to fit perfectly around him. Never ceasing to smile from ear to ear, Redford enchants us as the delightfully charming Forest Tucker. It verges on ludicrous how kind and charismatic his character is but that's all part of the film's grace and appeal - embellished by the wonderful Cissy Spacek who isn't out shined by Redford, turning in an equally remarkable performance. The two veterans are provided with strong support by Casey Affleck, the younger police officer who begins to notice the breadcrumbs laid out in front of him, and baffled when he comes to realise the so called "criminal" he's dealing with.
The Old Man and the Gun delves into the archives of ancient Hollywood, bringing back a classic formula that blissfully rejects a more modern approach. This is, through and through, a classic cowboy and sheriff movie. This is also a compassionate outlaw, in fact we are rooting for him from the very second he flashes those pearly whites and politely tips his hat. On the other hand we also care for Affleck as the authority figure, whilst we don't want him to catch Forrest we wish him success as the down on his luck cop.
The Old Man and the Gun is an old-school charmer that bizarrely encourages you to be a better person more than it does to rob a bank. We peer through the keyhole of history in this classic tale and there are some fantastic views along the way. This is pure and sublime filmmaking, and although it's sad we must part ways with this cowboy, The Old Man and the Gun certainly goes out with a bang.
The Old Man and the Gun:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.