A story about the collision of the Old and New West, two brothers — Toby (Chris Pine), a straight-living, divorced father trying to make a better life for his son; and Tanner (Ben Foster), a short-tempered ex-con with a loose trigger finger — come together to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land. The hold-ups are part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that powerful forces beyond their control have stolen from under their feet. Vengeance seems to be theirs until they find themselves in the crosshairs of a relentless, foul-mouthed Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last triumph on the eve of his retirement. As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their plan, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the last honest law man and a pair of brothers with nothing to live for except family collide.
What We Thought:
Hell or High Water is a solid, well acted drama. I had no idea what this was about before seeing it, but I saw it for two reasons, Chris Pine and Ben Foster.
I think Pine and Foster are two of the most underrated actors going especially Foster. Foster is great in everything and I’ve been a fan since Freaks & Geeks. With Pine, I can’t figure out how he’s not one of the biggest names in the world along with Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans. He should be. He might actually be a better actor than them and he’s just as good looking.
Both are really good in this. They play brothers who rob branches of a bank that is foreclosing on their land. It takes a few jabs at what banks did and what caused the housing market bubble to burst, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with it. It could have been very politically driven, but it’s not. At its core, it’s really about two brothers doing what they have to do. Foster’s character has a criminal history and Pine is doing it because they need the money.
Jeff Bridges plays a retiring Texas Ranger who’s trying to put the pieces together and capture them. It comes down to a classic western style confrontation and I loved that. I grew up on westerns and this has a Texas western feel.
In fact, it’s very Texas oriented. Almost every character has a gun and no one seems afraid to use them. People today might have a problem with it, but Texas is very much a 2nd Amendment supporter.
Texas also looks beautiful on the big screen. Like classic westerns, this has great cinematography and scope. The size of the backdrops, the roads, the hills and prairies look flawless on the big screen. I liked the look a lot. It’s gritty and dirty and the 3 leads hold your attention throughout.
I liked Hell or High Water quite a bit. I’m not quite sure why it’s opening in the summertime, but I hope it doesn’t get too lost at the box office against comic book movies and cartoons. It’s well made, well acted and looks great. Just a solid drama.
Cast & Crew:
- Chris Pine
- Ben Foster
- Jeff Bridges
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