Movie Madness: Band of Robbers

This 2016 Indie movie reimagines Mark Twain’s Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer as adults in modern day time. Huck has just got out of prison and wants to lead a normal life, while Tom is now a corrupt cop who has not let go of his childhood schemes. Both have not been able to forget their dreams of finding treasure, and so they form a “Band of Robbers” with two other friends and begin the hunt.

The movie follows the plot of Tom Sawyer pretty well* and has plenty of call backs to the original story/time period. For instance, at the beginning of the movie Huck is seen smoking a corn cob pipe and he is staying in a house that is from the correct time period (with matching furniture). The major changes include having the movie narrated by Huck, the cave with the treasure is turned into an old hotel that was once called “The Cavern”, and Becky meets Tom for the first time as an adult.

It is this last change that drew me into the movie. What is Tom like with no Becky? What role does Becky play in Tom’s growth? Turns out, Tom without Becky is a grade A asshole. He leaves Huck behind to get caught, uses his power as a cop to get away with crimes, and has no care in the world for anything not related to him. Becky is the reason why book Tom was able to grow as a person. Not having Becky around not only changed Tom, but also changed Huck. If Tom wasn’t reigned in by wanting to be good for Becky, that leaves Huck not having what little guiding influence Tom provided.

Overall, this movie was able to take the original themes of the book and give a more sinister take on them. There were times when I thought that Huck or Tom could actually be killed off, while the book never had me fear that. There was also a pretty interesting discussion on whether or not Injun Joe was racist (the answer was never agreed upon).

*If you never read it, or only read the Spark Notes in order to pass your HS English class, don’t worry. No prior knowledge of the book is needed to enjoy this movie.