Well, that was enough to set me going. But the experience was mixed. The script & screenplay isn't up-to-date here; it fails in properly fictionalizing the facts. Some of the sub-plots created to support the story at a later stage are too unconvincing.
After having killed an unarmed protesting citizen in a riot, Andre Stander, one of the captains of the riot squad, asks to free himself from that duty. He was already getting sick of the corruption around him & this riot event only worsened the matters for him. In the midst of this crisis, he begins to rob banks, but eventually gets arrested. He manages to escape, though, with a partner, & later manages to get one more of his inmates out. The three start robbing banks, which soon gains media's attention & the trio is thereby referred to as 'The Stander Gang' by the media & hence the public at large. After a while, Stander feels that he should escape with his wife. But his wife disapproves of his actions, saying: ?There?s not a thinking man among us that doesn?t want to blow this place to smithereens from time to time. But we don?t. We find other ways.? Despite of this, he plans an escape, to be followed by a final heist, with his partners. But do things work out the way they?d planned?
While the first half was good enough, much of the second half was messy. I'm not saying that the second half was absolute crappy. It had its highs & lows, but the lows were far more than the highs. One of the protagonists says: "We've written a pretty good story so far. Why not a perfect ending?" But the ending wasn't that great either. The creation of the South Africa in the 80s era is done quite well, though.
Thomas Jane is exceptional. The way he plays this complicated character is amazing. Deborah Unger is excellent. Dexter Fletcher & David O'Hara are passable.
All in all, the movie works in parts & is worth a shot for those parts, IMO. 6.5/10.
[font=Century Gothic]"Stander" is a stunningly great movie directed with panache by Bronwen Hughes. The movie is amazing in that it deftly combines social commentary, politics and history into one gleefully fun heist movie that somehow does not glorify the actions of its protaganist(I originally thought Stander's actions were because of extremely large gonads but I think the real reasons are far, far darker.) nor insult the audience. And I especially liked the ending. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic]There is a very thin line between police and criminal, especially in a police state like Apartheid era South Africa where a minority tries to keep the majority under its thumb by any means necessary. That especially resonates with what is happening in the world today.[/font]
Still, this movie keeps you watching, even through the lulls because it only teeters, never falling. I'd be interested to see more from this director, and hope Jane gets more roles like this. Last note, was South Africa the stand in for Miami?
Based on an actual person by the name of Andre Stander, played by Thomas Jane who was made infamous for robbing several high class banks all across Africa. It showcases step by step, as well as a suggesting a possible motivation for the reason he did it which is cliché to say the least, which has something to do with the suppression and segregation of African natives from white Caucasian laws. Andre gets caught at some point during the movie, and then escapes again recruiting two other people. All I can say is that it's strictly by the book which is no different than any other heist movie made before and perhaps after it.
On the commercial cover, it says it's like a Quentin Tarantino movie, but when you actually watch it it's nothing but... meaning that, one can almost predict everything that happened here. And I was also quite disappointed that I wasn't able to see the actual picture of the real Andre Stanton until after I went to the "Special features" which would've been much more effective had it been shown on the credits.
2 out of 4 stars
Andre Stander is a South African police officer that is ordered to protect his people by executing a series of unarmed protestors. He eventually cannot stand his position and begins going on a series of bank robberies in hopes of becoming a modern day Robin Hood of sorts. Eventually, Stander gets over his head and his house of cards starts crumbling.
"It's bad luck to change the name of a boat, even when you change women."
Bronwen Hughes, director of Harriet the Spy, Forces of Nature, Tangled, Earth Angels, Cutthroat, and Over/Under, delivers Stander. The storyline for this picture is fairly interesting and reminded me a little of American Hustle in the way it was delivered. The action scenes were just okay but the characters are interesting. The cast delivers solid performances and includes Thomas Jane, Sean Else, Dexter Fletcher, David O'Hara, and Ashley Taylor.
"Your mother's balls!"
I do enjoy occasionally watching a Thomas Jane flick (much like Ron Perlman) and decided to add this to my queue when I came across it on Netflix (I had never heard of this). Nevertheless, this is far from a classic like Scarface or Blow, but it is as good as some recent similar films like American Hustle and wraps up nicely. Overall, I do recommend seeing this film but I wouldn't add it to my DVD collection.
"Something are done that can't be undone."