70 year old Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) is an unassuming bank robber. Having broken out of San Quentin and numerous other penal institutions, he’s returns to what he knows best, robbing banks armed only with a simple hand gun and a smile. However his optimistic approach is under pursuit in the form of police detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), a surprise love interest (Sissy Spacek) coupled with his ever advancing years.
Acting in what is widely regarded as Robert Redford’s acting swan-song, Forrest Tucker is a comfortable coda for the veteran actor…
Acting in what is widely regarded as Robert Redford’s acting swan-song, Forrest Tucker is a comfortable coda for the veteran actor. Nestled into a senior role whose charm is as ingratiating as his erstwhile good-looks, Redford characteristically delivers the requisite empathy without having to try too hard. Surrounded by a pedigree cast which includes Sissy Spacek as Jewel (Forrest’s love interest), Danny Glover and Tom Waits as his two elderly accomplices, and (blink and you’ll miss-him) Keith Carradine as Captain Calder and you have an excess of riches. Add to his another handsomely understated performance by Casey Affleck as Redford’s pursuer, supported by onscreen wife Tika Sumpter and you have a palpable sense of shared gentleness between both the hunter and the hunted.
In what amounts to a true-ish biography of an easy-going gentleman thief, Forrest’s offbeat romance with a country widow and his compulsion to rob banks get equal billing. However where no prison’s walls can contain him nor no woman’s arms enrapt Redford’s hero, the same cannot be said for the languorous pace at which the story strolls along. Whilst beautifully shot with a handsome, grainy film-stock aesthetic, ‘The Old Man & The Gun’ is a drama that knowingly has one eye over its shoulder. Consciously fashioned for an older audience with an even gentler pace of telling, this is one shaggy dog story that might escape both your patience and your eye if you’re not already an ardent Robert Redford fan.