New to home cinema: This heist actioner is said to be Mel Gibson's best film in years

  • Published: 2023/05/03 18:00

    Author: Sidney Schering


He was the first "Sexiest Man Alive" to be named by People magazine. He starred in box office hits as diverse as the Lethal Weapon series and What Women Want. And he directed brutal hits like "Braveheart" and "Hacksaw Ridge," which won numerous awards. But Mel Gibson's career has always been shaped by waves - great heights have always been followed by long dry spells. The equally celebrated and critically eyed “Mad Max” star has been in just such a place for a number of years. But there are signs his next comeback is on the horizon - and true-event bank robbery prank Bandit - Catch Him If You Can could mark the beginning of it. The true-crime biopic "Bandit" is available for home theaters this week. In the mid-1980s, Robert Whiteman (Josh Duhamel) breaks out of a US prison and begins a series of crimes that go down in the book of records: within a few years he robs over 60 banks and jewelry stores and thus not only writes history, but earns furtive admiration in the press and the nickname "The Flying Bandit". Loved by outsiders as a gentleman robber, he is being hunted by badass cop John Snydes (Nestor Carbonell) and backed by dangerous money shark Tommy Kay (Mel Gibson). All to provide for social worker Andrea Hudson (Elisha Cuthbert)... It may have escaped the attention of many film fans, but Mel Gibson has been extremely busy in recent years: Since 2018, 13 new films have premiered with the controversial star - many of them, however, have been flushed straight into home cinemas in a rather unceremonious manner. In addition, many of these films were panned by paying audiences and critics. But the bank robber biopic could mark the beginning of a reversal: With 74 percent positive votes on Rotten Tomatoes, "Bandit" is the best-rated Gibson film by the press since the gritty cop thriller "Dragged Across Concrete", which is now five years old behind! The "John Wick" series offshoot "The Continental", in which Gibson will play a leading role, will also follow later this year. With the right quality, the action series could prove that "Bandit" was not a short-lived outlier for Gibson. Another cast member of "Bandit" can consider himself even luckier: In several US reviews, leading actor Josh Duhamel was attested that he delivered his best career performance in the gangster biopic. And if that's why you're now in the mood for more of the "Transformers" mimes: In addition to the "Bandit" directed by Allan Ungar, the romantic action comedy "Shotgun Wedding" has also made its way into home cinemas: The film, in which Duhamel faces Jennifer Lopez as he confronts a horde of terrorists who crash a lavish wedding, didn't get as much critical acclaim as Bandit. However, he has comedic supporting roles for American Pie and The White Lotus actress Jennifer Coolidge, rock star Lenny Kravitz and stoner comedy cult star Cheech Marin. And that should elicit more curiosity from some film fans than positive reviews are capable of... *The links to the Amazon offer are so-called affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links or subscribe, we will receive a commission. This has no effect on the price.