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Finding Steve McQueen


Stars: Travis Fimmel, Rachael Taylor, William Fichtner, Forest Whitaker, Lily Rabe, Louis Lombardi, Rhys Coiro, Jake Weary, Molly McQueen

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Although it's slowed a bit by the romantic element, this is otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable true-life heist movie with strong comedic overtones. The title, of course refers to the iconic actor rather than the present-day director, the star being an obsession of fair-haired, blue-eyed (if thicker-built) Harry Barber (Fimmel) who, in 1972, with the Watergate scandal in its early days, becomes involved in a scheme, hatched by his uncle (the skull-faced Fichtner), to rob a bank believed to be the home of President Nixon's $30 million slush fund.

Thanks partly to Harry's ingenuity, the robbery goes off with only minor hitches; and, although Nixon's 30mill remains elusive, the robbers do make off with more than eight million dollars, of which Harry finds his 'share' is a measly $10,000. Meanwhile, he's fallen for local widow Molly (Taylor), whom we see again seven years later, as Harry comes clean about the whole affair.

Australian-born Fimmel (once TV's Tarzan) - he looks more like Ryan O'Neal than McQueen - rather overdoes the facial grimaces as Harry, but fellow-Australian Taylor, as well as Fichtner, Whitaker and Rabe are all strong, with all the robbers nicely drawn as individual characters. Directed at a good pace by Johnson to come in at a trim 92 minutes, the film has some nicely-judged 'bits'. too: an urn in one of the vault's boxes turns out to be someone's ashes; at a picnic at Molly's home, Harry finds all the fellow-guests are police officers; and the final way the bandits' fingerprints are found is ingenious, convincing and amusing.

In the support cast, Molly McQueen is the granddaughter of the real thing, while Rabe is the daughter of Oscar-winning actress Jill Clayburgh. Available on digital download.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: entertainmentOne/Movie Partnership/Momentum. Augustuscolor.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 12 Nov 2020