It is not an easy movie to watch, the injustice of the Apartheid oozes through it though we mostly see the Afrikaans side. Sometimes we get a glimpse at the huge gap of lifestyles, the rich whites and the black underdogs. Half way through the film the injustice issue fades and it becomes the story of a manā(TM)s self destruction.
I loved the strong accent accomplished by American actors and the cultural background provided giving us a taste of a country that we hardly see in films. A weird mix of biopic and caper but with a sorrowful end. A good effort with believable action scenes and an outstanding impersonation of the main character by Thomas Jane.
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?
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.