Based on true events, The Old Man & the Gun details the colorful exploits of aging criminal Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) and his efforts at pulling off one last score – with the movie also following the detective (Casey Affleck’s John Hunt) determined hot on Tucker’s trail. Filmmaker David Lowery admittedly does a fantastic job of immediately drawing the viewer into the deliberate proceedings, as The Old Man & the Gun kicks off with an almost unreasonably charming sequence detailing the meet cute between Tucker and a local rancher (Sissy Spacek’s Jewel) – with the palpable chemistry between Redford and Spacek’s respective characters, coupled with the actors’ flawless work here, certainly enhancing the irresistible vibe. It’s rather disappointing to note, then, that the picture segues into a watchable yet terminally erratic narrative that progresses at an often distractingly deliberate pace, with the ongoing emphasis Affleck’s character’s exploits, including his time at home with his family, exacerbating the decidedly arms-length atmosphere (ie Hunt simply isn’t terrible interesting a figure, particularly when compared to Redford’s protagonist). The end result is a decent drama that could (and should) have been much better, although it’s impossible to downplay the effectiveness of Redford’s magnetic and frequently electrifying turn as the movie’s charismatic central character.
**1/2 out of ****