Hell or High Water A+++++
Movie of the year? Sure. Can it be beaten? Maybe. Should you see it? Hell yes!
Count on one hand the last a movie REALLY opened up and you did not have to sit through 15-20 minutes of plot, just to get to the action needed to resolve the plot. Well, have no fear. First 15 minutes gives us the first robbery. Then we get a few lines of why it is being done, which is all that is needed. No minute upon minute of never-ending dialogue to help us understand a plot.
Two brothers so far apart are now brought together because the good one needs the bad one. That is all. Desperation brings out a man’s true nature. Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster), two Texan brothers with very cowboy names are going after one Texas bank chain that has dealt Toby’s now deceased mom’s a bad deal, fully knowing it could never be paid and the bank would get the land in the end. Oh, by the way, the land has now been proven to be full of oil and the oil companies are offering a HELL of a lot of money to get wells on that land. That can’t happen though until the bank is out of the picture.
So what do these good ol’ boys decide to do? Rob from that bank, switch the money out-of-state at a casino that does not ask any questions and in turn pay that bank back with their own money. Sounds simple, right? It certainly starts off that way. Until the Texas Rangers become involved. The lead Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges), is on the verge of retiring and his partner to succeed him. Even with his sly wit and what he feels is harmless racial razzing of his Native America/Mexican partner, Marcus knows these criminals are not in this for the splash of cash. These Rangers also have the best run in with any waitress to ever hit the movie screen. If you don’t think this is one of the best scenes in a film you have seen in a long time then you have a bad sense of humor and have never been to enough dive restaurants in the south.
Hell or High Water is all a drama, action, comedic, and any film buff could ask for. It is shot well, feels real, feels Texan, feels forgotten Americana and it has a proper run time. Is it a modern western? Maybe. I just know it is original, fun, great acting all around, intense, and makes you have to think about what side to take. Not just once in the movie either. There were a few times I was on the bad guys and the good guy’s side.
Damn, what a movie.