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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Based On a True Story

Bandit on IMDb

Plot Overview

mom, dad, babymoney bagsred maple leavesWhile the 1980's under Reagan are groping for economic recovery, check fraudster Gilbert Galvan Jr (Josh Duhamel) escapes a minimum-security joint in Michigan to pursue the American dream across the border in Canada. Under the alias Robert White­man, he becomes a push­cart vendor of popsicles until he ups his game to push­over bank robbery. There is the initial lick of sweet juice (“Always a bit of adren­aline rush,”) repeated until pursued by the heat (“Hot out”) he eventually winds up holding the bare stick.

The African-Americans we see got here before him. Ben (Lorenzo Yearby) the colored Mister Frostee manager—we suppose a descendent of American slaves escaped north—hates his laid back job (“I have a college degree and I sell popsicles.”) A black patrol­man (Eric J. Little) has his scrumptious ham­burger lunch inter­rupted mid-bite to be run ragged by a clever bandit. And house Negro Diamond Dave (Keith Arthur Bolden) second in command under laundering loan shark Tommy Kay (Mel Gibson) is so in the pits he gives up his boss for a better deal on a piddling DUI charge. We are more than prepared to see this thing end badly for the protagonist in his turn.


royal flushOne of Kenny Rogers's songs concerned a chance meeting with “The Gambler” on a train bound for nowhere. He offered the passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A grey­hound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

Ministrygood shepherd

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie when “Robert” is turned back from The Good Shepherd Shelter for arriving a little late (“No ins after 11:00,”) he stands his ground figuring God's door should always be open. The hostess Angela Hudson (Elisha Cuthbert) is easy.

cop stopWe have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. This bandit knows when the gig is up, and there will be no last stand Bonny & Clyde style.

dwarf goatWe have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” When Robert's exodus is hemmed in by the authorities watching all the trains, planes, borders & buses, he simply moves north to Pembroke figuring, “This is the safe place.”

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” The movie starts with a mad dash escape from prison.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Wait for the credits. The titles will display what happened to the people in real life.

Production Values

” (2022) was directed by Allan Ungar. Its screenplay was written by Kraig Wenman based on the novel, The Flying Bandit by Robert Knuckle. The credits list north of sixty-five different producers. It stars Josh Duhamel, Elisha Cuth­bert and Nestor Carbonell. The two principals gave very natural performances. The main man in it they featured was charming and clever, so they just had him played by some­one with movie star good looks to make him eminently watchable. The detectives were okay. Mel Gibson reliably handled a bad guy role. Nobody else had much to do.

MPAA rated it R for language throughout and some sexual material/nudity. It has a run­time of 2 hours 6 minutes. Rather than use artistic creativity for the plot, they relied on the cleverness of the crook they wrote about to keep interest up and devoted their talents rather to cutting corners to keep its length reasonable. Inter­titles were used throughout to establish a timeline and to emphasize some nonfiction bits. It came out well for those limitations but not fleshed out enough to suit some tastes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

As long as one reins in his artistic expectations and treats this one as a true crime drama it can be quite satisfactory. There are plenty of movies featuring oxymoronic genius crooks, but this one plays up ordinary street smarts. Decide accordingly.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: For true crime buffs. Suspense: Predictable. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. Web.