Film Review by Erin Fair.
In Band Of Robbers Mark Twain's iconic characters are re-envisioned in this low-budget high jinks comedy that follows a grown-up Tom Sawyer (Adam Nee), a street cop whose childhood friend, Huck Finn (Kyle Gallner) has just been released from prison. Tom is a rookie policeman, stuck in the abyss of issuing motorists tickets. Huck wants to stay straight and hopefully create the family he never had for himself, but Tom concocts a scheme to rob a pawn shop to make up for the treasure that eluded them as kids. He drags Huck into his wacky, ill-conceived scheme of forming a band of thieving-from-the-rich Merry Men with two others. They're luckless goofballs.
Directed by Adam and Aaron Nee, Band Of Robbers has an even and balanced tone. There is plenty of light-hearted humor, as well as moments of brutal violence, that reaffirm to the audience that what Tom and Huck are taking part of is dangerous.
Things get off track quickly, starting with the first heist, a pathetically idiotic robbery of a pawn store. With Tom's new impetuous partner Becky Thatcher, (Melissa Benoist) in tow things quickly go even more haywire. With Stephen Lang playing a white Injun Joe as a ruthless monster and the subject of multiple jokes about cultural adoption, you can tell the Nees know their stuff. Along for the ride is the always welcome Hannibal Buress, and Matthew Gray Gubler rounding out the comedic group of criminals.
In all honesty, none of this film should work. Nonetheless, with sly references to the source novels, the chapter headings, and familiar characters, anyone with a fleeting knowledge of Twain will be amused. Band of Robbers may not quite hit the mark but they've made a very cute film with joyful sense of humor and youthful wonder.
Running Time: 104 Minutes / NR