David McKenzie’s ‘Hell Or High Water’ seems to be the best-reviewed film of the summer and if not for that, this film would never even have crossed my radar. A modern western? Not really my cup of tea. Add to this, though, that it stars Chris Pine, and since he did a duet with Barbra Streisand, I found myself on lien buying a ticket for this film, and even as I was entering the theater I was still skeptical.
Did I enjoy the film? Yes, I did. It is smartly written, and it kept my interest because it is a visual film, and tells a compelling story about two brothers (Ben Foster and Pine) who rob small Texas Midland banks. In the beginning, you get the impression that these are amateurs, but as the story unfolds, you see the bigger picture. And surely I am on their side. Enter Texas Ranger Marcus, who is on the verge of retirement and after studying the case, gets a handle of the brothers’ psyche. All three give fantastic performances, and I was surprised to see a very serious and subtle Pine here, no bro braggadocio. Foster is crazy with a heart, and his character provides the static suspense. Bridges gives the kind of performance they give to elder actors. I thought to myself, this is one of those life achievement Academy Award material, but then I googled and realize he already has one from 2010.The film’s languid Texas heat pace is welcome – you can practically feel the dust of the desert.
Still, it’s not my kind of movie, and will probably never watch this again. i respect it more than I like ti.