Hell or High Water shows us the virtues of old-fashioned filmmaking throughout, giving us full-embodied characters to actually care about in this solidly crafted film.
One of the richest and most rewarding films you’ll see all year. Hell or High Water is an extraordinary picture built on a small scale for movie buffs. Director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) takes us out to West Texas in this modern day western. Except, there’s no Eastwood buffoons whipping around their .44 Magnums nor is there a parade of gun slinging cowboys from Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. Instead, we get a smart and well-paced film following its notorious characters from beginning until end.
The phrase "come hell or high water" typically means, "do whatever needs to be done, no matter the circumstances". This is the case for the plot; we get a divorced dad (an excellent Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother (the devilish Ben Foster) resorting to desperate schemes of bank robbery in order to save their family's ranch. But this is no ordinary robbery; its well planned and thought out. Giving Texas Rangers Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham a run for their money to catch them. Bridges helms the films charisma, as he slings his cutthroat jokes one after another.
While, Birmingham quietly steals the movie as a biracial Native American/Mexican surviving the harsh chaos of a white man's world. During this film we see the beauty of a hopeful Americana through the exquisite shots and scenery. Mackenzie’s framework is slow and steady, giving the audience a painted portrait of the deep west. Mackenzie evokes us into his world of pathos, as we see the wonder of the horizon rise and fall during the tense circumstances.
In a world full of CGI junk, Hell or High Water is a crucial film in need of dying genres. A mirroring example of cops and robbers, Hell or High Water fully embodies its protagonist and antagonist making it one of the freshest films of 2016. It receives the highest of highs, 5 out of 5 stars. So go out and see this modern western masterpiece and soak every last frame in.
Hell or High Water is rated R (Restricted) For some strong violence, language throughout and brief sexuality.