Reviews: Review of “The Old Man”, series with Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman

Remarkable critical and commercial success, this FX and Hulu project completed its 7 episodes on July 21, but even much earlier it had already been renewed for a second season. At the moment, it is not available for Latin America on any streaming platform (it would be logical for it to reach Star+), but it circulates widely on the Internet.

The Old Man (United States/2022). Showrunners: Robert Levine and Jonathan E. Steinberg. Direction: Jon Watts (episodes 1 and 2), Greg Yaitanes (episodes 3 and 4), Zetna Fuentes (episode 5) and Jet Wilkinson (episodes 6 and 7). Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman, Alia Shawkat, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Ethan Rains, Pej Vahdat, Chris Gann, Navid Negahban, Jamal Antar, Ninos Sarkis, Faran Tahir, and Christos Vasilopoulos. Screenplay: Robert Levine, Jonathan E. Steinberg and Daphne Olive, based on the book by Thomas Perry. Music: T-Bone Burnett and Patrick Warren. Photography: Jules O’Loughlin, Armando Salas and Sean Porter. Duration: 7 episodes of between 50 and 65 minutes each.

The Old Man It begins with former CIA agent Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) getting up three times during the night to go to the bathroom. To these ailments, which like all those that appear with age come not to go away, is added a recent widowhood that has him plunged into deep pain. But behind his fragility, the bonhomie of that father who speaks kindly on the phone with his daughter or takes care of his dogs, hides a man tortured by a series of unresolved events from the past that, more than 30 years later, return to chase him. And in the worst way.

Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Perry, The Old Man –whose first two episodes are directed by Jon Watts, the same of the last three films of Spiderman– appears, in its first minutes, as a drama about loneliness, the passage of time and the attempt to reconcile with the roughness of life, topics very present in the last stage of Clint Eastwood’s filmography. Until the cold-blooded murder of a man who comes to Chase’s house to kill him makes it clear that no, that The Old Man will be closer to the ethical dilemmas of Fire against fire that from the twilight melancholy of The mule Y cry male.

The reference to Fire against fire It is not by chance, as the importance of nocturnality, a discreet staging and the presence of Amy Brenneman in the skin of a character who works, as in Michael Mann’s classic, as a moral anchor as well as an interest, demonstrates. romantic of a protagonist entangled in the web that he himself wove.

But the strongest link occurs with the appearance of Harold Harper (John Lithgow), an old acquaintance of Dan’s who was also involved in those events of the past and now he has to follow in his footsteps as the FBI agent in charge of the operation. Even as Pacino and De Niro, Chase and Harper talk on the phone and, although enemies, respect each other and recognize each other’s intelligence.

What follows will be a game of cat and mouse that embraces the narrative codes of police dramas, a long raid to capture a man whose secrets will be revealed without urgency as the episodes progress. “No pressure” is a key concept in The Old Man, because here there is no frenetic pace or a story full of plot breaks, but one with a proverbial patience to define the hidden edges and the motivations of its characters with small actions and gestures. Impossible to get out of that muddy world, of stalking and paranoia, once you enter it.

There is also a welcome cinematic imprint in the use of spaces, in addition to several hand-to-hand fights of unusual brutality that the camera captures in long shots, a perfect example of how these types of scenes should be filmed. The dessert cherry The Old Man it is the extraordinary Bridges and Lithgow sparking each other throughout a confrontation from which, whatever the outcome, they will hardly come out unscathed.

Other reviews of recent fiction series:

Saint Avoid (Star+)


Black Bird: Confessions of a Killer (AppleTV+)

Supernova (Amazon Prime Video)

All the money / loot (AppleTV+)

María Marta: The crime of country (HBOMax)

Better Call Saul – Season 6 (Netflix)

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Reviews: Review of “The Old Man”, series with Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman