film reel image

film reel image

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Bandit 2022 * * * Stars


"I don't have any money". Really? After stealing from 59 or so financial establishments? Yeesh.

A weak sense of 80s time and place, hairstyles that don't match the decade, and an overload of the blithe doesn't keep you from enjoying 2022's Bandit. Josh Duhamel is in the lead and he's all cocksure and such as a bank robber getting his uh, rob on. Duhamel creates a character through layers and improvisation and duping and whatnot. He relishes it. In Bandit he plays Gilbert Galvan Jr or should I say, Robert Whiteman. Mel Gibson's in Bandit too. He rides with Duhamel as a sort of mobster sidekick named Tommy Kay. Their dialogue exchanges crackle, like a couple of HS buddies at lunch break, scheming and Janus-faced.

Now about Bandit the movie. Well it's a bank marauder pic with gang ties (duh). It is also based on a true story but comes off as more playful and less hard-hitting. The pace is swift, the cutting is volant, the editing is crisp. The music? Well it bodes really well with the rhythms of the actors. Again playful. Watching Bandit, you wouldn't even know it's based on true events. It almost plays like a pseudo comedy or a TV miniseries on say, Peacock. What can I say, I enjoyed it anyway.

So yeah, Bandit is obviously not the most original of heist flicks. I mean if you've seen stuff like Wisdom and/or The Old Man & the Gun you've seen this swipe. What makes Bandit recommending, is how fun-loving it winks toward the audience. It's not really dangerous, just jocular, with never a dull moment or anything lagging. The 126-minute running time just sort of flies by as director Allan Ungar engages in the almost non-violent, carefree way of pilfering via the Reagan Era. Disguises, quiet moments of cash-grabbing, deception, and that revelatory ending. It's all design by Duhamel. Him and this vehicle are quite the "steal".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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