Being billed as Robert Redford’s final acting performance, the actor delivers quite possibly for the last time in The Old Man & The Gun.
We’re taken back in time to 1981 when Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) was a leader of the Over-the-Hill Gang, joined by Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits). What’s so perplexing about it was that this old man couldn’t have been nicer to the bank tellers. In the words of many of them, he was pretty much almost a perfect gentleman! The only thing stopping him being truly perfect is the fact that he would go on to rob them. But he does so with manners! Taking into account everything she knows about him, horse owner Jewel (Sissy Spacek) still wants to be with him.
Dallas PD detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) focuses on the hunt for Tucker when he’s at the bank during one of the robberies. Hunt is determined to break the case. Though it’s not without some displeasure when the FBI comes knocking at the door. He doesn’t want to give up the case. However, after they show up, he receives a letter from a Dorothy Hayes (Elisabeth Moss). This really only serves to add some backstory to Tucker’s life.
Writer-director David Lowery does an amazing job at capturing the era on film. The decisions pay homage to 1970s filmmaking. It’s not so much the clothing and haircuts of the time but aesthetically, the film feels as if it were made during the early 1980s by shooting on 16m film. An old school vibe is honestly the perfect way to honor what may be Robert Redford’s final performance on the big screen. No cell phones. No computers. It’s because of this that Hunt and the police have their work cut out for them.
As sad as it will be to see the actor go, Redford delivers such a fun performance. It wouldn’t feel like a Redford film without a Western vibe going for it. After all, he does play an outlaw! Redford has the charm even in the twilight of his career. We get one last glimpse of the actor in his early days during a montage of break-out scenes. My gut feeling was that the montage would show at least something from the early days in his career. True enough, they did!
Without Robert Redford, it’s safe to say that cinema will likely never be the same. His performance in The Old Man & The Gun is truly an homage to the Oscar winner’s acting career.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: David Lowery
CAST: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., John David Washington, with Tom Waits and Sissy Spacek