Movie Review: Hell or High Water
a brief review by Camilo Arenivar
Hell or High Water is a finely crafted modern day cops and robbers tale. Or maybe it’s cowboys and Indians. You can be the judge. What I do think is that it is a bit overrated from the 98% critical consensus I see it has on Rotten Tomatoes.com.
Hell or High Water is indeed a well told crime story focusing on two brothers who are robbing banks in West Texas to save their now-deceased mom’s ranch. The other angle is that of an aging Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) days or weeks from his retirement, up for one last challenge.
What excels with this movie? The story is well written, the acting from Chris Pine, mostly known as Capt. Kirk from the new Star Trek movies is stellar. Jeff Bridges also delivers one of his best roles in a long time. Cinematography, while not truly Texas (it was New Mexico) was beautiful. The soundtrack was good. The complexity of the characters was captured in a simple yet heartfelt way.
What is not so great about this movie? Well, the pace at times was a bit too slow. I’ve read some reviews that called this movie a western crime thriller and it plodded along into unnecessary dialogue and sedate pauses that it creates an unrealistic expectation to call this film a thriller. Although at the same time, there is some violently intense shoot outs that may be a bit much for some.
Despite its flaws, it is a very good movie and probably the first of the potentially Oscar-nominee worthy movies that will start coming out in the last quarter of the year. If you like bank robbery movies or Westerns, or just plain old good Texas-style yarns, you very well may enjoy this movie.