This one was really good.
Hell or High Water is the new film written by Taylor Sheridan (who wrote Sicario) and starred Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. It is a Western film placed in present day.
Howard Brothers Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) are working together to rob banks in Texas. They are very smart about it, because they are only robbing the drawers and not going for the piles, avoiding the security measures the banks had put in place. Tanner has been just out of jail, but it was Toby who asked for his help robbing these banks.
The bank holds a lien on Toby’s ranch and he is desperate to pay it off before they foreclose. Because the robberies were all on the low side, the FBI was not interested so the case falls into the lap of Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), who is near retirement and looking for one final adventure.
This is such a smart and fun action-thriller. The characters are well-developed and real. Their motivations are clear and easily understood, and you could even connect with the criminals because of how charming they are, plus how much they mean to one another. And yes, we have seen this type of character from Jeff Bridges before, but I would argue that we haven’t seen him this good in a long time. The relationship between Ranger Marcus and his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham) is every bit as wonderful as the brothers Howard.
I would go as far as saying that I loved Jeff Bridges in this film. His folksy charm was on full display and he was outrageously funny with his down south witticisms.
Plus, the state of Texas itself is a huge character in this film. The way the brothers had to avoid robbing a bank at day because they never knew who might be packing a gun was hilarious. They got shot at several times by bystanders who just happen to be sporting their rifles.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster are both excellent. Pine shows his concern and his uncertainty well as Foster is uproariously off-the-charts as his risk taking brother with the cache of weapons in the trunk. Foster brilliantly portrays a character who seems to understand that his days are numbered and his hope to be able to help his brother save the family ranch is a goal to end on.
The locations are beautifully shot and so rustic that it creates an atmosphere that engulfs you into this world fully. There is a feel to the look of Hell or High Water that is full of texture.
Hell or High Water is an amazing movie, well done and highly entertaining. Jeff Bridges is fantastic in a role that, while familiar, raises above everyone else in the film. Don’t miss this one.