Sunday, August 28, 2016
Hell or High Water - Movie Review
Written by Taylor Sheridan.
Directed by David Mackenzie.
The Wolf of Wall Street. The Big Short. 99 Homes. All inspired by true events, and those events would bleed into Hell or High Water, where rural north Texas feels the weight of poverty and greed.
The movie is about two pairs of men, and both could have their own film, and I'd be happy following either one. It's a credit to the filmmakers that there is no scene wasted.
One one side, there are the cops. Jeff Bridges is the crusty old marshal who's about to retire, and Gil Burningham (Twilight) is his Native-American partner who puts up with all of his race jokes. When a couple small banks are robbed, this is their chance at cracking one last big case.
On the other side are the robbers. Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers in dire straits. Their mother has just died and the bank is about to foreclose on her ranch unless they come up with the cash to pay off her reverse mortgage and back taxes by the end of the week.
This isn't a glossy production. This movie feels lived in. The mud caked on their cars feels earned. The small parts and extras look like real people. And the four main characters are all outstanding. I would argue this is Chris Pine's best performance to date.