Notice how few movie convicts ever learn much in jail. Imagine how brief a crime classic like Michael Mann's 'Heat' would be if good sense had prevailed. (One last job, you say, Robert De Niro? Nah, I'm good hanging out here with Ashley Judd.)
'The Robber' takes this axiom to an omega: Not only is Johann (Andreas Lust) immediately back to ripping off banks after a six-year prison stay, he even continues his personal hobby of long-distance running and alternates his thievery with training for the Vienna Marathon – which he wins. Both pursuits require discipline, a point made briskly via director Benjamin Heisenberg's blank performances.
Initially attracting with its cool crispness, 'The Robber' ('The Runner'?) doesn't really go anywhere; it's based on a real-life story that sounds a touch more interesting. (The actual Johann wore a Reagan mask and suffered explicitly.) A buxom former acquaintance, Erika (Franziska Weisz), confronts Johann with expected questions about her place in his life and pressures come to a head. Some viewers might give the movie a few extra points for its retro vibe of taciturn badassedness. But little punctures the wall of emotional remove---the pulse rate is way too controlled for entertainment's sake.