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Review: Josh Duhamel Delivers His Best Performance In ‘Bandit’

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BANDIT (2022)

Josh Duhamel delivers an excellent performance, the best of his career thus far, in an otherwise mediocre, inconsistently paced crime comedy.

Based on a true story, Bandit follows a criminal (Duhamel) who escapes prison and heads to Canada where he becomes a master of disguise and a notable bank robber dubbed The Flying Bandit. Duhamel is at his best here, his charisma and humor on full display as he truly carries the film. It’s oe of the first times that I found myself enthralled by his commitment and portrayal, a fun one that is quite different from the droll roles he usually takes. Overall, however, Bandit plays like a less-interesting Catch Me If You Can. The majority of the film is spent showcasing the numerous heists committed, balanced with a storyline that seems to be playing towards a redemption arc that never quite pans out. Though Duhamel plays the character with inescapable charm, there is nothing more to pull you into the empathic space Bandit seems to want to take you to.

Elisha Cuthbert is solid in support, though her role is a generic play at the souse at home while the criminal runs amuck. Mel Gibson is also simply fine, his crime boss role similar to so many of his lackluster performances from the past few years. Bandit simply doesn’t do anything new or memorable aside from telling the tale of the man responsible for the most heists in Canadian history. From a technical standpoint, director Allan Ungar hits all of the right beats; it’s Kraig Wenman’s script that ultimately hurts the film for being too straightforward and underwhelming. Bandit is, at the end of the day, entertaining enough to warrant a watch.

Bandit hits theaters, VOD, and digital this Friday.

Rating: 3/5

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