‘Bandit (2022)’ is a crime biopic directed by Allan Ungar and starring Josh Duhamel, Elisha Cuthbert, Mel Gibson, and Nestor Carbonell. The screenplay is based on the true crime book ‘The Flying Bandit’ by Robert Knuckle. It depicts the life of Gilbert Galvan Jr., who under the alias of Robert Whiteman, went on a robbery spree in Canada in the mid-80s, ending up robbing 59 banks and jewelry stores combined.

A witty script by Kraig Wenman and a terrific performance by Duhamel makes ‘Bandit’ a wonderful post-Tarantino crime film about a charming and most likable protagonist. Its pacing is extremely brisk and the freeze frames used to confirm that some of the seemingly unrealistic things in the film, that we might interpret as the makers taking creative liberty, actually happened, make it a highly entertaining watch.

Bandit (2022) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

In 1984, Gilbert Galvan Jr. is sentenced to 18 months in a correctional facility for check fraud. He escapes after six. In a scrappy fashion, he makes it to Canada to avoid getting caught and lands up in Ottawa. As he puts it, no one is born bad, and neither was he. He gets an honest job selling popsicles, except he uses an ID he bought from a beggar to get it, rechristening him as Robert Whiteman. But the ice cream company soon decides to close their cart business and Robert is out of a job. In the meantime, he meets Andrea Hudson, who manages a free church boarding where he is staying while he’s broke. The two fall in love and move in together.

A few months later, Robert notices that law enforcement back in the US is still looking for him. He decides to leave Andrea for a while, to keep her safe too, and go to Vancouver in search of a job. He realizes that there aren’t any jobs for him and is thinking about robbing a bank when he calls Andrea up. She informs him that she’s pregnant, which makes him extremely happy and also spurs him on to proceed with the robbery, given that the economy is in tatters and he now needs to provide for his family. Given how charming and easygoing he is, he takes to it like a duck to water. Also, his spendthrift lifestyle means no heist is big enough for him to pull and then be done with that life. He initially lies to Andrea about working as a security analyst for his father. When she finds out that he’s lying, he lets her in on what he’s really doing. Andrea has no problem with Robert’s criminality after getting to see how nifty he is. Her only catch is that once he’s stolen enough to go to the Bahamas and open a bar next to the beach, which has been his dream all along, he’ll retire from the life of a bank robber.

Bandit (2022)

To fund his work in the beginning of his career, Robert gets in touch with Tommy Kay, a gangster in Ottawa with a fair bit of influence. The two go on to become good friends as Tommy is impressed by how good Robert is at what he does. A certain Detective John Snydes sees Tommy as his white whale. He is a diligent officer of the law who is frustrated with the system’s shortcomings that keep him from doing his job properly. He then teams up with another Detective by the name of Hoffman. After a prolonged pursuit of funds, they manage to get some and start an operation titled ‘Project Cafe’ to nab Tommy. At first, Robert enters their radar because of his association with Tommy. But soon they realize that he’s the one pulling off the tens of bank heists around the country, thereby making him a priority target of ‘Project Cafe’.

Bandit (2022) Movie Ending, Explained:

Snydes and Hoffman, having kept an eye on Tommy, manage to find the then retired Robert, living in Pembroke, after having followed Tommy when he went over to Robert’s house to pay him a visit. They then keep a watch on his house, which eventually leads them to round him up when Tommy arrives at the Pembroke Airport following the heist that we witnessed at the beginning of the film.

Why did Andrea pretend to not know anything when she had her meeting with Robert?

After Robert is caught, he realizes that Andrea’s complicity can cause her to get arrested, which in turn would cause their daughters to be taken up by Social Services. Therefore, when she comes to visit him, she starts to pretend like she had no idea about Robert’s criminal life, as they’re being monitored through the CCTV camera in the room. Given that Andrea didn’t actually know Robert’s real name, her charade allows her to escape punishment, thereby getting to raise their daughters by herself as the law believes her to be innocent and completely unaware of who Robert really was.

In the aftermath of his arrest, Robert is sentenced to twenty years in prison, having been found guilty on all the charges made against him. 59 charges of robbery, to be specific, making him the most prolific robber in the history of Canada. Tommy gets summoned because of his association with Robert but the latter refuses to divulge any information about Tommy’s criminal dealings, which keeps him from getting arrested. Tommy is grateful to him for this. He gets caught eventually and sent to prison for eight years in an operation following ‘Project Cafe’.

At the end of the film, we’re informed through text on the screen about what happened with all the characters following Robert’s arrest, including the amusing anecdote about how Detective Snydes went on to date a teller from one of the banks where Robert pulled a heist. Robert and Andrea got divorced following his arrest and he was released from prison in 2001. He continues to have a good relationship with his daughters. In a clip from an interview of the real Gilbert Galvan Jr., he admits to being completely broke following his release from prison, a fact that is made suspect by how most of the money that he robbed, close to two and a half million dollars, was never recovered by the law.

Read More: The Infernal Machine (2022): Movie Review & Ending Explained


Bandit (2022) Movie Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Bandit (2022) Movie Cast – Josh Duhamel, Mel Gibson, Elisha Cuthbert, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia d’Abo, Hayley Webb
Where to watch Bandit

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