HELL OR HIGH WATER film review (Bridges, Pine, Foster)

HELL OR HIGH WATER film review (Bridges, Pine, Foster)

Hell or High Water (2016) is a film about a divorced father and his ex-con older brother who resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas. What they don't know is that even though they try to be smart about it, there are two Texas Rangers on their tail.

It stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham, in a film directed by David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense, Starred Up, Hallam Foe).

The brothers, Toby (Pine), and Tanner (Foster) get together after years of being apart, with a plan to rob branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land. As far as they're concerned, their hold-ups are part of a desperate scheme to take back a future that felt like it was stolen out from under them.

They think they're running scott free as they hand out their justice to the banks but then we see Texas Ranger Marcus (Bridges), on the brink of retirement, seemingly looking for one last big catch, Marcus and and his partner, Alberto (Birmingham) start to follow the trail of bark robberies and start to figure out where they're going next.

Watching the film, you can see that a showdown looms on the horizon for these four.


The atmosphere of this film describes two brothers who are seemingly down on their luck, watching their dour, depressed existence, This is a different kind of Chris Pine than I've ever seen in any other film. He's depressed, dark and extremely deep in his Texan character.

Ben Foster delivers one hell of an ex-con kind of character who doesn't quite think things through at the worse of times.

Meanwhile, Bridges portrays a tired, old cop being kept barely revitalized by this new pursuit. He seems to have no other reason to exist except for this one last adventure.

The film bounces back and forth between the two sets of characters, where in the beginning, it was two dark tales of pursuit, one pursuing money, the other, pursuing the money grabbers.

The depression of their stories suck you in, with each scene building off the prior one, as you can see how inexorably slow the events unfold. The bank robberies are the action points of the film, while the planning and pursuit are more of the tactical, slow chess moves getting each party to their next move.

Everyone delivers wonderful roles that suck you in. You care and worry all at once, rooting for each of them to achieve their goals, even if one of them is chasing the other.

If you want to lose yourself in a film, this is a good one to do it with. You just have to adjust to the Texan accents at first, but once you've dialed that in, you're good as gold.

The film got a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDb.
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