WHAT I LIKED: David Lowery's 'The Old Man & The Gun,' is the kind of character-study that's entirely about uncovering a mysterious individual, and in this case it's the charming and gentlemanly bank-robber Forrest Tucker who wanders into banks non-violently and asks for the cashier to hand over the money whist reassuring them that everything's ok. That's a rather curious thing, but what's so brilliant about the film is that it puts all of its energy into slowly uncovering the reason why he does that and the man he really is in a way that constantly has you intrigued. That wouldn't have been so successful without such a captivating performance from Robert Redford of course as he's unsurprisingly gentlemanly with a twinkle in his eye, but the way the film looks back on his past films also adds to the sense that the character has a rich and interesting history. That mythic sensibility is emphasised again by the style of the filmmaking itself as it all looks and feels like a film made in the 60s/70s - right from the costumes and environments, to the edit speed and cinematography style which mostly uses natural lighting and muted tones.
In the end that journey of discovering Forrest comes to a head in one beautiful scene on a horse where his humanity is revealed in a rather touching moment, and in the end that speaks of what a successful character-study the film really is as you've grown to care about the character and like him despite his mysterioud activities. It's a lovely film this, and whether you're familiar with Redford's back-catalogue or not, you'll surely love it.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The reach of the film doesn't extend much beyond the simplicity of that central character-study, but what it reaches for is certainly well within its grasp.
VERDICT: A simple character study about uncovering the reasoning and humanity behind a mysterious individual, 'The Old Man & The Gun,' is a lovely film, and if it is to be Robert Redford's last, it feels like a fitting and graceful send-off.