REVIEW – Hell or High Water is an entertaining ride

A movie that covers so many themes – and it’s quite good at doing so.

If the characters are wearing stetsons, lassoing cows or livestock, or doing anything that I’d flag as “country related,” I’m automatically out. So, I will confess that I went into Hell or High Water…let’s say… “concerned.”

This American Crime-Heist-Action-Thriller stars Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster, and tells the story of two down-on-their-luck brothers who are looking to keep their mother’s home and land, situated in a Texas town. The land is worth a pretty penny: there’s oil in the ground, ergo, there are thousands of reasons (and dollars) for the bank to try and get their hands on it. The only way to keep the bank out of the whole thing is to pay back their mother’s bank loan. Their solution: rob banks to get the cash. That has Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) looking into the cases with his partner, Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham).

The film is no picnic in the park. If you don’t like racist jokes, snapshots of poor towns, or violence, then this movie is probably not for you. The film is a gritty, no-holds-barred representation of a town that’s under so much misfortune, it’s brutal. Hamilton is a well-meaning Texas Ranger who often pokes fun at his coloured partner. When the two show up to crime scenes, they’re obviously not seeing the nicest of things, but it’s the standard fare for a film that covers content like this.

And then there are the various shades of right and wrong; of good versus evil. The layers upon layers of who is bad and who is good are incredible. Watching the brothers on this roller coaster ride of misery, you can’t help but feel some empathy for them. The Machiavellian motifs are covered so smoothly. The people I thought I’d end up strongly disliking in this film are the ones that I appreciate, and the people you think are the “good guys” or the victims in this…not so much.

For its layering, its story telling, and mostly strong pacing, I’m giving Hell or High Water 4 Texas Rangers out of 5.

Hell or High Water is out in limited release in Metro Vancouver.

Take a look at the trailer below!

3 responses to “REVIEW – Hell or High Water is an entertaining ride”

  1. […] Out in limited release, this Heist-Drama film looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Chris Pine and Ben Foster play two brothers who have to resort to robbing banks to pay off their mother’s loan on a home. Worth watching this weekend if you’re looking for a little action. I give you my two cents here.  […]

  2. […] found in an adrift rowboat, and Sausage Party gets spot number four with a $90 million draw. Hell or High Water is number five, and this is a great sort-of “modern western” film people need to go […]

  3. […] Sully has glided (safely) into first place, having made nearly $50 million since it came out last week. I gave it a perfect score, and it is worth seeing during this expected-to-be-rainy weekend. You can take a look at my review here. At number two, we’ve got Don’t Breathe. which is a fantastic horror-thriller-suspense deal that is absolutely worth your time. Read my review here. At number three is When the Bough Breaks, the film that reminds me so much of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, and Suicide Squad is in at number four. The latter slowly trudged into the $300 checkpoint domestically, and it’s only moved about $8 million in the last couple of weeks, so the slowdown is quite telling. My reasons are laid out in my review, which you can find by clicking here. Bringing up the end of the list is Hell or High Water, which is number five with $20 million – and oh man, for being out in about 1500 theatres or so (as of today), it is doing quite well. I recommend seeing it. You can read my review for Hell or High Water here. […]

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