Hell or High Water(2016)
I finally got a chance to seat down and watch this 2016 crime/drama/thriller directed by David Mackenzie and written by Taylor Sheridan(Sicario) about two brothers who goes around robbing banks in Texas.
Hell or High Water starts of with the Toby(Chris Pine) and Tanner(Ben Foster) robbing a bank, what makes this unique from other bank robberies is that it’s done in a comedic fashion as they sneak up on Elsie(Dale Dickey) who arrives to open up the bank for the day.
After sometime with Elsie the bank manager comes in and they finally get the money and leave, despite their unsound method of bank robbery, it’s very effective as they only take banks early in the morning and doesn’t take any of $100 bills.
Hell or High Water plays like an modern day western with the Howard brothers who are clearly not good people, Toby being the more calm of the two, while Tanner is more of the loose cannon and brings more attention to their operation with a unplanned bank robbery that he does alone.
I must admit I wasn’t really interested in seeing this movie as it kind of seemed to be a story that we’ve seen before,which in parts it is but what this movie does that I really liked was make you feel that this story could be happening right now in any small time with the brothers motivation for the bank robberies.
Chris Pine is solid as Toby, in one of his more down to earth roles, getting away from his big Hollywood roles here he is just a man who needs money and will do what it takes to get it, I would like to see Pine take on more roles like this in the future once he moves away from Space and fantasy films.
Ben Foster,one of the most underrated actors working today, is a force in this movie as older brother Tanner who is rebel with a cause crazy but is also his brother’s keeper and will help him no matter what the cost.
Foster takes a character that one paper is a stereotypical bad guy but flips everything on it’s head, he brings a lot of emotion to this role and makes you feel for him especially in his final scene because as the viewer we know why he does what he is doing.
Jeff Bridges aka old man Dude turns in a strong performance as the Sheriff that’s about to retire but takes on this final case. similar to Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men, his Sheriff character is afraid for what he’s pursuing but Bridges welcomes the challenge of stopping these guys and going out on top.
The scenes between Bridges and Gil Birmingham make for some good laughs, as they are somewhat counter to that of the Howard brothers with their on Older Brother/younger brother relationship. which really is shown when Bridges has to showdown with one of the brothers.
I was really impressed with Katy Mixon who I’ve only known from Mike and Molly TV series, despite having a small role here, but he performance as a waitress who meets Toby and later questioned by The Sheriff is very strong and believable as a low income working mother.
Hell or High Water isn’t an original story but it takes something that we’ve all seen before plays up all the strengths with everyone giving solid performances because this movie is very character driven.
One thing that I was surprised about was there was quite a bit of dark humor in this movie which was actually fitting with all that was going on, one of the bank robberies is funny with an old man that stands up to the Howard brothers.
It was nominated for a few Oscars but of course wasn’t going to win which nothing is wrong with that, but atleast the movie was noticed and I think anyone who likes these types of stories and movies should really check it out.