Hell or high water is another summer flick that flew way under the radar. Hardly advertised, it has a semi-quasi cowboy taste to it. It could have been an exciting story but it is overcast by the oh so slow progression of events and flow to the bottom line. I, who am a very detailed person, got bored waiting and waiting and waiting…well, you get my point. The movie was too slow! Don’t get me wrong, it was still a good story and well acted.
Two brothers, Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster), stick it to the system by paying back the bank that holds their family mortgage with money they just obtained by robbing banks. Tanner is an x-con who had just gotten out of prison for killing their abusive father and was all too happy to assist his brother, who was not a criminal, achieve this goal. Additionally, Toby has two estranged sons he wants to leave the farm to. Lots of story here (I won’t spoil it for you). After pulling off a couple of bank robberies, two Texas Rangers, Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) were sent to get to the bottom of the case and catch the two robbers. Toby and Tanner had worked out a clever way to exchange the stolen bank money for legitimate, untraceable bills that allowed them to move forward with their plans. They also planned to rob banks first thing in the mornings so that there would be no customers and less chance of getting caught. Since Tanner is a little wild, despite being considered the smart one, he impulsively went off course, leaving a big trail of clues for the rangers. Toby was constantly frustrated with his brother’s shenanigans but stuck with him anyway. This would be Marcus’ last case since he was due to retire shortly, so he wanted to go out successfully. There are nicely orchestrated car chases, humor, sex and of course, the gorgeous Chris Pine. It’s my opinion that waiting for the DVD release would not be a bad thing.
[HELL OR HIGH WATER is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Film Editing, and Original Screenplay]