Heist films are always gripping and exciting to watch. When I saw the handsome Josh Duhamel on the poster of this film, I knew it was a must-watch for me. There's something Josh Duhamel brings to his movies and mostly they are his good looks, humor and charisma.
Bandit (2022) is a heist, biographical drama, crime, thriller and love story all rolled into one fascinating film. Keep in mind it is based on a real-life story and an adaptation of the book, The Flying Bandit. I did not know this at the time of watching and assumed it was all fictional because the heists were completely unbelievable!
I mean how can one man successfully rob 59 banks and he was not caught until the last one? I guess the adage in my country which says “everyday for the thief, one day for the owner” is true. I shook my head as I watched, seeing instances where the character could have been caught and arrested if he undertook the heists in our present day. However, these robberies took place in the 1980s when the rules were not so strict or severe.
According to this film, Gilbert Galvan Jr holds the record for the most consecutive successful robberies in Canadian history in real life.
The film begins with a striking statement by Gilbert Galvan Jr (played by Josh Duhamel) who later adopted the name Robert Whiteman based on an identity he bought from a homeless man on the street:
No one is born bad. Like anything, it takes practice.
After Gilbert Galvan escapes from prison, he tries to find an honest job and later loses it. That is when the idea of robbing a bank takes shape in his mind as he watches a bank van drop off some bags.
He goes into a costume shop, befriends the attendant, borrows some costumes, disguises himself and successfully robs a bank for the first time. That is how he begins his career as a bank robber until he holds the record of 59 successful bank heists and jewellery stores.
The settings and cast performance were excellent. The film reminds me of the crime/thriller Catch Me If You Can (2002) featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Josh Duhamel makes the heists look easy with his carefree, humorous and charismatic self. The various accents and disguises he assumed made his character fun to watch.
There was the excitement and wonder of 'when will he be caught?' Even at that, I was rooting for him to not be caught because of his commitment to his woman and their unborn baby. His efforts to do right by them will have viewers cheering him on. But we know that many wrongs cannot make a right, at some point he would have to pay for his illegal acts.
Other enjoyable scenes are those of the detective, John Syndes (played by Nestor Carbonell) and the task force he put together to track Robert Whiteman all over the country. The timely distraction techniques that made them miss Robert always by a hair's breadth are fascinating.
Josh Duhamel brings the shine and thrills to the film and also Mel Gibson as the bad guy who was never caught is interesting to watch.
If you love crime/heist films, this one is watch-worthy. I give it 4 stars out of 5.
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Other images are screenshots from the movie