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A champion marathoner leads a double life as a serial bank robber, sprinting between fixes (and away from police cavalcades) as many as three times a day. A lean, visceral study of pathological compulsion from Austrian director Benjamin Heisenberg, featuring a riveting central performance by Andreas Lust (Munich).
If you like the 'Bourne' movies but wish they were more cerebral...you might be the perfect audience for 'The Robber'. --The New York Times
Exhilarating! Chase sequences to outdo Hollywood s finest. --The Village Voice
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But really, overall, this movie fails to deliver. As background it's not really based on a "true story", but an adaptation of a novel that was loosely based on some actual events. That's far from based on a "true story."
And that's a good thing too, because the protagonist in this story is about as endearing and audience-engaging as a dried banana peel. He utterly lacks color, and there's nothing really to identify with him with the exception of that he seems to derive some vague diversion from running. But we're not allowed to enjoy that with him because he does not externally enjoy it. It's very irritating to watch.
There is one splendid chase scene. One. Only one real chase scene. It's amazing scene, extremely well choreographed and shot. I was very impressed. But there's only one of them, and it lasts about 1.5 minutes. I recommend just watching that as opposed to the whole movie.
Several comments: first, Andreas Lust brings a terrific performance as the loner Johann, with steely nerves and determination. Second, there are a number of great cat-and-mouse sequences (not all of them chase scenes) between Johann and the police as they track him down, just riveting. Third, this movie was released on DVD in the US last year and the DVD box notes that "this movie is already slated for a Hollywood remake". I haven't heard anything about that yet, but if Hollywood does remake it, I can only hope that they will keep the same grim yet riveting tone of this Austrian movie (I somehow doubt it).
In all, I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. If you are in the mood for a quality foreign crime drama, "The Robber" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!