Stellar Casting Elevates Boomer Spy Thriller The Old Man
The Old Man. FX. Thursday, June 23, 10 p.m., and available now on Hulu.
Hollywood’s baby boomers are not going gently into that good night. And watching a couple of the better ones rage against the dying of the light in FX’s The Old Man is about as good a television experience as you can possibly have this summer. Jeff Bridges as a long-disappeared CIA paramilitary man and John Lithgow as a formerly friendly boss who’s trying to hunt him down and kill him offer thrills, spills, and bloody chills in equally gripping doses.
At the ages of 72 and 76, respectively, Bridges (whose television career began an astonishing 64 years ago) and Lithgow both offer transfixing performances as a pair of ex-spooks who can’t let go of an ancient feud from their covert days in Afghanistan three decades ago. They struggle to put on their socks in the morning and to control their dysfunctional bladders, but they retain a startling command of the skills of their old trade that involve flying lead, crushed windpipes, and ruthless double-crosses.
Loosely adapted from the novel by Thomas Perry, The Old Man debuted last week. But you can easily catch up on Hulu or the streaming service FX Now, and you’ll want to do that; The Old Man is not a show to casually join in progress. The early scenes, with Bridges playing Dan Chase, a slightly doddering suburban widower who spends his time seeing doctors in hopes of warding off the infirmities of old age, not only set a soon-to-be-shattered tone but offer important clues about what’s to come.
Chase realizes his three decades of off-the-grid concealment have come to an end when he gets a call fr
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