When white police officer Andres Stander (played by Tom Jane) suffers a crisis of conscience after his involvement in a riot in Johannesburg, he goes from law enforcer to law breaker, becoming one South Africa's most notor... more »ious bank robbers.« less
CONNIE C. from HAMPTON, SC Reviewed on 9/26/2009...
Awesome acting by Thomas Jane. Amazing true story.
"If you're a white guy, you can get away with anything"
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So speaks Andre Stander the day after a massive riot in Johannesburg South Africa in which Stander as a police captain finds himself killing a Zulu man in a morally shattering encounter. This utter disillusionment with the police force and their responses to the Apartheid situation makes Stander withdraw emotionally and physically from the Riot Squad and eventually his challenge that the blacks are unduly mistreated leads him to break the white laws by initiating a string of bank robberies - not for money but for a bizarre sort of revenge.
Stander (Tom Jane) is good at what he does, both as a cop and as a criminal, but his clever bank heists eventually result in his being jailed where he finds two partners (David O'Hara and Dexter Fletcher) to join him in escape and in one of the longest bank robbery sprees in the history of South Africa. Stander remains conflicted: he loves his new wife Bekkie (Deborah Kara Unger), he knows what he is doing is wrong, but the money is often shared with the blacks of Johannesburg, and he is driven to leave South Africa to eventually locate in Lauderdale, Florida. The eventual results of this man's career bring this film to a close in an action packed yet very soulful way.
The film, as written by Bima Stagg and directed by Bronwen Hughes, captures the atmosphere of the era in South Africa, and gives us a realistic look at the plight of the Africans in the Apartheid, offering insights to both sides of the conflict like few others have in film. He coaxes fine performances from his large cast of actors and extras, making this film less an action thriller than a character study of the enigmatic Andre Stander.
The true star of this film, a film that deserves far more attention than it has been given, is Tom Jane. Jane is a strong actor, able to take on language accents with the best of them, and able to make us understand the spectrum of personality in this fascinating character. There are many scenes in which he plays in full nudity, quite apropos to the story, but just an indication of his commitment to 'fleshing out' of his role. He is an actor to watch, an actor unafraid of tough roles in contrast to the showy Hollywood star parts. Grady Harp, December 2004"
It IS a true story!
Stefan De Jager | 12/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this recently on DVD in South Africa - it is frighteningly realistic - the accents, cars etc etc. This is the TRUE story of the Andre Stander legacy - I remember him and his gang being in the news all the time - each time getting more and more adventurous. Get it - watch it - great movie as well as being factually correct - 90% of the time."
COMPELLING CRIME DRAMA
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 07/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Based on a true story, STANDER is the story of a frustrated cop who becomes a bank robber, robbing over 25 banks while a cop, and then many more after he escapes from prison and enlists the aid of two fellow escapees in his heists. Set in the smiley face days of the 70s, STANDER works due to the remarkable performance by Thomas Jane, who has been critically lambasted for some of his work in "The Punisher" and "Dreamcatcher." In this film, Jane captures the frustration, guilt, and determination of Andre Stander. This antihero actually wins his audience's sympathy as he struggles to elude the law and expunge his own guilt over the murder of an African rebel. STANDER is a different film and even with its tragic conclusion, stays in your mind."
"This movie wasn't promoted a lot, and of course not a lot of people saw it or even rent it, but I asure, it's a great movie. It's based on a true story of the life of Andre Stander. South African police who saw corruption and decided to turn Bank robber to prove it. The problem is that he got too much into it. I'm not familiar with the casts, but it's a great performance from all. I will recomand this movie for those who like true life story. Again, Good story, good performance, lots of actions and emotional ending."