Archives for posts with tag: heist films

Every film I watch that’s set in the 1980s feels like a TV movie. Maybe the ’80s never happened. Maybe I just watched it on TV. Josh Duhamel reeks of TV movie – in a good way – making him perfect for the maddeningly cocky, charismatic namesake of “Bandit” (2022). Based on an actual series of 1980s bank heists in Canada, the plot construction is as simple as the robberies are elaborate, making it small yet fun. Mel Gibson plays a loan shark with rock-hard fists – and even he’s Canada nice. Elisha Cuthbert is a composite character of every 1980s sitcom girlfriend.

Some Guy Ritchie films , like “The Gentlemen,” are big, sloppy fun, while others, like “Wrath of Man,” (2021) are just big and sloppy. In the latter, the soundtrack heralds a menacing tone that persists as one criminal seeks payback from another. There’s lots of standard Ritchie touches – jumping back and forth in time, the audience never quite knowing whose side anyone is on – but some plot points are dwelled upon while others breeze by confusingly. But the tonal bleakness lacks the comic blackness Ritchie is often able to mine from intramural mayhem. Something’s missing in all this carnage. Humanity?

I’m old enough to have seen the original “Going in Style” in the early 1980s, back when Hollywood movies would show up on network TV a year later. The original old-men-rob-a-bank flick, with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was more poignant. The 2017 remake, with Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, is more polished for a modern audience. They’re both good. As usual, Arkin inhabits his grumpy-old-man character like none other. I wanted someone to explain to me why Caine, with his English accent, worked in a Queens (New York, not THE queen) steel mill for 30 years.