The Old Man: Two Episodes In. Reactions and Prediction. Recommended!

Jeff Bridges is The Old Man in this new series. A former CIA agent who is targeted now well into retirement, because he did something many years ago that upset someone who wants him brought in now.

If it feels like an idea that’s been used before, it is. I loved RED with Bruce Willis. Not only was it funny and entertaining, but it was obvious someone who knew about the covert world was advising. You could tell by little things, such as the Swedish K submachine gun in the underground lair.

There are no new ideas out there. I know there are writers who think they’ve come up with one. Trust me. It’s been done. There are new ways of writing stories based on the same idea.

The Old Man is well done so far. Jeff Bridges vs. John Lithgow. Two old war horses who were buddies once in the Agency, back when we were on the side of the terrorists in Afghanistan vs the Russians.

Now Lithgow is supposed to take Bridges out because he knows “something”. Actually, it appears some Afghan warlord still nudges a grudge and wants him. Revenge is a dish served really cold it appears.

Through flashbacks we learn Bridges married an Afghan woman. Warlord’s daughter? We don’t know yet. She died of dementia some years back. Someone might want revenge because of that.

I do get tired of old, retired people who suddenly have all their old skills back when they’re not working out or practicing or training. Muscle memory only goes so far. I’ve got a couple of black belts but do not currently train. The biggest thing that stays with me is knowing how to fall. After all, that’s the first thing you’re taught and it’s pounded into you. That has served me well. I’d probably be able to do some blocks. But forget about the old spinning back kick. Nope. Then again, Bridges doesn’t do those either. His big fight scene is pretty realistic because it’s brutal.

I haven’t been to the range in months and while I could still hit something, I’m not shooting the wings off gnats any time soon. It is pointed about by Lithgow that Bridges does make a couple of mistakes, so there is that.

I think the key is that you don’t lose that core ability to be ruthless and to plan things and execute them. My Will Kane character in his Green Beret series is a few years removed from his time in Vietnam, but he has those key skills

If nothing else, the two dogs are worth watching.

Bridges does matter to get the better of the younger guys after him, mainly because they underestimate The Old Man. And he is in pain, although I imagine he heals fast as everyone in the movies and TV does. My back still hurts from loading a printer in my truck last week and turning the wrong way when I did it. I’m a snowflake.

I do like how no one is too dumb to live. I hate when there are characters who seem clueless. People know their jobs and they know what’s going on.

I really like it so far and recommend it.

An interesting aspect is Bridges talking to his daughter on the phone. It’s weird right from the start.

So.

Spoilers ahead. Stop here if you don’t want them and what I think is really the plot.

Turns out his daughter committed suicide years ago. It’s all in his head. The voice struck me as strange immediately. And the lack of security talking on a cell phone while being chased didn’t make sense for such an experienced operative.

The story appears to be about getting Bridges for this Afghan warlord who is mentioned but never shown. Not even in the flashback where a young Bridges (excellent casting whoever found the guy) rides up on horseback to a young Lithgow in Afghanistan asking for more rifles. Of course, Lithgow looks ready to go golfing far out in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan. Even the Fobbits usually try to dress more appropriately for war.

Why not show the antagonist?

Because I don’t think that’s the whole story.

The real antagonist is Joel Grey. Another Old Man. And the inciting incident for all of this accident is some reporter from the Times calling him to check on what she’s prepared for his obituary.

Do they really do that?

He wants both Bridges and Lithgow, who he considers as sons, off the table so his legacy isn’t tarnished by whatever they did so long ago. Now, the Afghan warlord could have resurfaced after all these years. But really, so what? What do we owe this guy?

There really wasn’t much need for the Joel Grey scene except that he gives Lithgow the number of a top notch assassin. My take is the assassin is supposed to take out both Bridges and Lithgow.

I could be wrong.

But that scene with Grey really resonated.

it’s sort of like the movie The Outfit which I reviewed earlier. If you watched it, did you really understand that most of what you were seeing wasn’t real? It was the tailor’s mind making it up. Because, as he said, in his voiceover, a good tailor has to understand his customer to do a bespoke suit. There were no shootings and the tailor shop wasn’t actually on fire the next morning. He made up that mental story so he could make the suit.

Regardless. It’s well done and well acted.

You can follow me here https://bob-mayer.medium.com/subscribe You can subscribe to Medium (well worth it for the articles you can access) here: https://bob-mayer.medium.com/membership You can sign up for my email list for occasional free books and survival advice HERE.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store