The first rule of crime: don’t get caught. The best way to avoid that, as Enzo Rotella instructs his nephew Harry Barber, is to keep a low profile, which as an obsessive fan of Steve McQueen whose passion for fast cars has led to a catalogue of speeding tickets and being known to every traffic cop in the county is kind of a burden.
Fortunately, the job Uncle Enzo has planned is far from humble Ohio, in the sunny state of California where they have a bank job lined up in the land of sunshine, palm trees, surfer bars and the mystery of hot tubs and automatic dishwashers, the perfect crime to snatch $30 million of dirty money from Richard Nixon’s campaign funds.
The money obtained illegally, he can hardly report the theft, can he? The hundred FBI agents descending on coastal Laguna Niguel intent on finding Steve McQueen would seem to indicate otherwise, a merry chase across the country taking eight years to track down the remaining members of a band of outlaws less Ocean’s Eleven and more Enzo’s Five Halfwits.
Directed by Daredevil’s Mark Steven Johnson from a script by Ken Hixon and Keith Sharon, Finding Steve McQueen is a laidback heist caper inspired by the United California Bank burglary of 24th March 1972, a notorious robbery of scant clues only solved by the determination of the FBI who ultimately linked the modus operandi to another crime and traced travel records between the locations.
Starring Warcraft’s Travis Fimmel as Harry Barber, laconic and charming wheelman who models his appearance on McQueen, other than his serendipitous meeting with The Darkest Hour‘s Rachael Taylor as not-so-grieving widow Molly Murphy he lacks the good fortune of his Hollywood idol, his eagerness and kind nature getting in the way of good sense and paying the price repeatedly.
With Rogue One’s Forest Whitaker and The Veil‘s Lily Rabe as the investigating officers and Elysium‘s William Fichtner as the increasingly exasperated brains behind the operation, Finding Steve McQueen never takes itself seriously, a joyful and quirky slice of the American dream served drenched with sunshine to an easy seventies soundtrack.