Deeply affected by the indiscriminate killing he witnesses as white police officer in South Africa,Andres Stander (played by Tom Jane) makes a decision to defy the very system has has spent a lifetime enforcing. Turning his back on the law, he masterminds a series of audacious bank robberies and befriending outlaws Allan Heyl and Lee McCall goes on a cross-country robbing spree. Known only as the "Stander Gang," the three commit dozens of bank robberies - heists that grow increasingly bolderover time. In the eyes of the public, the gang's disrespect for authority makes them near-lengendary folk heroes. To the South African government, however, the former police officer is a cause of embarressment, and the Stander gang quickly becomes the most wanted men in the country.
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