The film Hell or High Water is a modern western written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by David Mackenzie. This hour and forty two minute flick stars Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster.
Initial impressions… wow, just wow. It is rare these days to see a movie that truly gives characters time to develop in their own right.
Gone is the clunky exposition and plot dumps that we are used to, and instead we see these character slowly unfold throughout the movie. Taylor Sheridan has crafted a careful script giving insightful and witty dialogue to characters that immediately endears them to the audience.
Chris Pine gives a remarkable, subdued performance while showing the strain and pressure his character is under, allowing the audience to continually root for him. His co-star Jeff Bridges revises his southern lawman persona and channels a performance that rivals that of his character in the 2010 film True Grit. The actors have great chemistry with each other that create an interesting dynamic that you don’t want to look away from.
The story of Hell or High Water revolves around a modern day rancher who is robbing banks in Texas in order to pay off a loan to the bank. But instead of just being another heist movie, this movie takes the tone of a simple man trying to get by in a modern world, and asks the questions of what would you do to give your kids a better life than yours.
The movie’s action scenes, while few, keep you captivated and keep the story moving while the respite between robberies give us more insights to why these men are doing what they do.
The cinematography is beautiful, with a terrific soundtrack that makes you truly feel like you are in the backwater towns of Texas.
My only real criticism of this movie is the pacing: things tend to slow down a little too much two-thirds of the way into the story, which might damage this movies re-watch value. However, the final third of the movie pulls you right back in and gives you an ending worth the wait.
Overall I would recommend you pull up your rocking chair and check this one out.
This movie gets a solid 4 out of 5 Texas Stars.