Hunting Elephants: It's Never Too Late to Rob a Bank


There are often mini-trends in cinema, as in competing biographies of a single person (your Capotes, your Hitchcocks, your Prefontaines), or multiple movies about large things hitting Earth. This week brings us two different foreign films about old men embarking on a life of crime, the less interesting of which is Reshef Levi's Hunting Elephants. Jonathan (Gil Blanks) is teenager whose father (Tzvika Hadar) dies on the job as a security guard at a bank run by the unctuous Dedi (Moshe Ivgy), who uses a loophole in the fine print to deny the family any insurance compensation, even as he moves in on Jonathan's mother, Dorit (Yael Abecassis). Jonathan begins reconnecting with his estranged grandfather Eliyahu (Sasson Gabai), and along with Eliyahu's friend Nick (Moni Moshonov), they plan to rock Dedi's bank, with the help of Uncle Michael (Patrick Stewart), a flamboyant British stage actor. Unfortunately, this Israeli version of Going in Style's attempts to be edgy — particularly regarding the lustfulness of the elderly men toward a voluptuous nurse (Rotem Zussman-Cohen) — are frequently vulgar without being funny, crossing the line from commenting on sexism to actually being sexist. The only real pleasures in Hunting Elephants come from Stewart's broad performance, playing up to his current dandy persona, but he's not enough to make the film worth tracking down.

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