Stander [2003]

Stander is the compelling, true story of Andre Stander (superbly played by Tom--formerly Thomas--Jane), an Apartheid-era, South African police captain whose disgust over official repression of the nation's black majority--and his own, lethal participation in those policies--leads to his career as a bank robber. Captured, imprisoned, and on the run after a successful escape, Stander joins two partners (Dexter Fletcher, David Patrick O'Hara) in a long string of bank heists across the country, uncertain of his destiny but yearning for his estranged wife (Deborah Unger). Co-screenwriter and director Bronwen Hughes (Forces of Nature) can't quite overcome the built-in redundancy of the film's latter half (lots of robberies, lots of disguises). But despite all the gunplay, Stander is most interesting for its understated fascination with the enigma of its anti-hero, who wreaks havoc yet is peculiarly committed to atoning--at great pain--for those actions he considers most unethical. --Tom Keogh

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