The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
by George Wolf
By the time a man reaches the wise age of 100, he learns to appreciate the simple joys in life: good friends, traveling, finding millions of dollars stuffed in a suitcase, blowing stuff up.
Meet Allan, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
Allan (Robert Gustafsson) has lived quite an adventurous life, and isn’t too happy about marking his big birthday in a nursing home. So, while the staff is busy getting his cake ready, he slips out a window and heads for the bus station for a ticket to wherever his pocket money can take him. But before his bus takes off, he’s handed a suitcase to hold while a tough-looking biker squeezes into a tiny bathroom. The bus arrives before the biker returns, so Allan gets on it and leaves, taking the suitcase full of cash that belongs to a local crime boss.
And with that, director/co-writer Felix Herngren kicks off two zany adventures, both full of madcap hi jinks, dark humor and droll witticisms that won’t all successfully translate to American sensibilities.
Based on the Swedish best-selling novel, the film parallels Allan’s birthday shenanigans with flashbacks to incredible incidents in his life, many of which turn out to be pivotal moments in world history.
The film can’t hide the Forrest Gump similarities, but while Gump‘s emotional string-pulling hasn’t aged well, Herngren gives his film shades of mayhem to offset the nuttiness. This does result in some sequences that are a bit awkward stylistically, but there are damn funny bits here, too.
Gustafson, despite some rough old age makeup (why is this so hard to get right when Bad Grandpa did it so well?) is wonderful, with an able supporting cast that keeps you interested in how everyone will fare as the mob, and the cops, close in on Allan and the loot.
Just think of The 100 Year Old Man as a fractured fairy tale, full of enjoyable mischief and quickly forgettable fun.