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Carol Ann MacKay is a fine, popular nurse at a retirement home, and spends her free time with her hunky athletic husband Wayne MacKay, who was the star of her school's football team when she was high school prom queen; he still would do anything for her, including cleaning up the messes her ideas get them in. When legendary bank robber Henry Manning, who had a major stroke in prison, is placed in the home, supposedly having lost all control over his body, she notices he must be in far better condition then he lets appear, and tries everything to find out- when she pushes his wheelchair in a canal at a picnic, Henry gives up. The McKays keep his secret and Henry doesn't actually run in Waynes car as his first impulse was; soon Carol gets his confidence and the two start planning how they three can commit another robbery on an armored money transport, which brings them together. It doesn't go quite according to plan, but they get the loot; however, before the money can be split some big... Written by
Paul Newman shines in this implausible, but highly watchable caper flick about three unlikely armored car robbers. It is hard to believe that Newman is 75. He is fitter and more energetic than most men who are fifteen years his junior. He single-handedly elevates this film from mediocrity.
The story is nothing unique. Henry (Newman) is a bank robber who is delivered to a nursing home after a debilitating stroke. His nurse (Linda Fiorentino) suspects he is not the vegetable he appears to be. After she gets him to admit his ruse, she exhorts him to knock off an armored truck with her.
Director Marek Kanievska and writer Max Frye leave numerous gaps in the story. We never discover what tips off Carol that Henry is faking. They didn't do enough character development of Carol and Wayne (Dermot Mulroney) to make it believable that they would want to become criminals, no less hatch the scheme. The idea that Carol was pretending to be the dispatcher for the armored car company from a cell phone in the truck is a flimsy concoction. Even with digital technology, most cell phones in moving vehicles sound like cell phones, and you can hear road noises and the engine running.
Still, despite a lackluster script, the film is enjoyable because of Paul Newman. Newman gives a fantastic rendition of a stroke victim, and his hardened and cantankerous portrayal was marvelous. Linda Fiorentino plays the scheming sex-kitten nurse in one of her better performances. The screen chemistry between Fiorentino and Newman is excellent with undercurrents of sexual desire constantly flaring up between them. Dermot Mulroney is relegated to a role that was essentially a fifth wheel and is adequate as Carol's loser of a husband.
I rated this film a 7/10. It is good entertainment and an opportunity to see a master at work. Newman hasn't lost a beat in a movie career that spans almost a half a century. It is worth seeing for him alone.
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