Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hell or High Water *** (2016)

Watching Hell or High Water it's hard not to think of other great films set in Texas like No Country For Old Men or Blood Simple.  The landscape makes for the perfect backdrop for a neo-noir grappling history, family, and crime drama into an entertaining film.  Two brothers the soft spoken Toby (Chris Pine) and tough guy Tanner (Ben Foster) go on a bank robbing spree to pay off some debts.  Aging Texas Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges) is on their trail in his last case (a cliche situation but it works), while spending most of the time sparring with his Native American partner Gil (Alberto Parker). Many reviews have alluded to the sub theme of a fading white working class left with little options in rural America.  As Toby and Tanner drive through the desolate landscape all the businesses are closed and billboards promise debt relief.  The rise of casinos is like the last gasp of civilization. One cannot think of Bonnie and Clyde as well, the idea of existentialists set on exacting revenge on the banks. Pine, known for playing for Captain Kirk in the Star Trek films, delivers a star making performance as a reluctant criminal.  Bridges could probably plan an old law man in his sleep, chewing up the scenery like an old pro.  A somber film with a beating heart, Hell and High Water takes its rightful place within an excellent tradition Texas movies. 

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