Review of Disney Plus starring John Lithgow and Jeff Bridges

Disney Plus: When Roger Murtaugh famously declared in Lethal Weapon that he was “too old for this stuff,” he was just 50 years old. However, he pales in comparison to some of the seasoned actors who have contributed to the development of the “geriatric thriller” sub-genre, like Liam Neeson, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Denzel Washington.

Seventy-something Jeff Bridges, who appears in a new seven-episode series that is open about its protagonist’s old age, has now joined their ranks. The Old Man, which is currently available to view on Disney Plus, is not some obnoxious display of unabashed machismo. Although it is set in a world of espionage, black operations, and mercenaries, the tale it tells is mostly reflective of how the past always taints the present.

From the opening sequence, which introduces us to the titular character—an apparently normal, lone guy who struggles to put on his socks in the mornings and is bothered by a persistent need to use the restroom at night—the series moves forward at a slow pace.

Dan Chase (Bridges) has spent years cultivating this appearance of normalcy, right up to the day he detects and murders an intruder in his house. He calls the police and explains that he was acting in self-defence as an estate agent. However, estate agents don’t frequently keep cash, sensitive information, and assassination-calibre weapons hidden beneath the floorboards.

Now that his status as a former CIA agent gone rogue has been made public, Chase is unexpectedly subjected to nominative determinism. But as the FBI closes in on him, Chase gets a tip from an unusual source: Harold Harper, an assistant director at the Bureau who knows him from their time together in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The puzzle of why Chase is being sought and why Harper is so eager to help him vanish once more is gradually put together (partially through flashbacks). However, it might be argued that the program’s outstanding leads take centre stage. With nuanced performances that allude to the depths of their characters’ guilt for what they previously — and now — are capable of, they help the show transcend its genre conventions.

Although The Old Man might occasionally be too sluggish to be completely engrossing, Bridges, in particular, manages to hold our attention. His Chase is not a perfect hero, but he has deep, genuine humanity. It’s just as captivating to see him develop feelings for Zoe (Amy Brenneman) while fleeing and supporting her at a difficult time in her life as in one of the brutal action scenes.

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