It’s really ashamed that Robert Redford decided not to retire from acting with this film as this would’ve been the perfect send off to his acting career.
The Old Man and the Gun is directed by David Lowery and it revolves around Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) who makes an audacious escape from San Quentin, conducting an unprecedented string of heists that confound authorities and enchant the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit is detective John Hunt, who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (brilliantly played by Sissy Spacek) who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.
Old Man and the Gun took me by surprise in so many ways. This film is more a character piece on the character of Forrest Tucker, which made the film extremely interesting as a character study. This film is just so much fun due to how fascinated I was by Redford’s character mannerisms which made me emotionally invested in his journey, wanting to know more about the character. Some of my favorite scenes in this film is when it’s just Redford and Spacek, where they share some excellent chemistry. This isn’t just a story about Forest Tucker, as it also cleverly inter-cuts with a detective named John Hunt (Casey Affleck) trying to catch Tucker. This character allowed the film to show more layers between both characters. I found the police story-line just as captivating as the main focus, due to how Lowery managed to give so much insight into these characters.
This leads me to David Lowery’s direction. He manages to make such a unique films, by bringing great innovative styles to the table. Lowery also frames a lot of shots here in such a visually interesting way.
The always great Robert Redford gives such a subtle and charming performance that works so well. He makes this character come across as such a gentleman, when he’s otherwise always doing the wrong thing. Sissy Spacek also gives a great performance, since her and Redford’s on-screen chemistry is priceless. The way the two play off each other allows this film to be so charming. Casey Affleck plays Detective Hunt, and as usual, he is also great when on screen. Affleck manages to bring a certain charm to this character, just like Spacek and Redford performances.
The score composed by Daniel Hart is just brilliant. While it may come off as a bit too calming and relaxing, the overall score worked well with the film. Finally, the cinematography by Joe Anderson was stunning. Shot on 16MM, the film had an old look to it, as if it came out of the 1980’s, which perfectly complimented the film’s time period.
My only problem with Old Man and the Gun is near the middle of the film, where the film had an oddly placed grinding pace. Not to mention that it took a bit of time before the film got going again. Even though this film is just a bit over 90 minutes long, I still felt like the run time dragged.
Overall, The Old Man and the Gun turned out to be a big surprise for me. It’s not one of my favorites of the year but it manages to tell such a great character driven story that is elevated by the Lowery’s film making!