It’s about damn time I get a brilliant Indie movie this summer. “Hell or High Water” is the kind that is thrilling, well-acted, and isn’t convoluting in its narrative. Written by Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”) and directed by David Mackenzie (“Starred Up”), it’s one of the year’s best films, and it’s only half way through the year.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster are both top notch as two brothers, Toby and Tanner, whose mother has passed on, and have to pay off their mortgage fees, by robbing banks in the morning. Morning, because as Tanner says: “The Early Bird Gets the Worm.” They have to bury their getaway cars in ditches, and drive throughout Texas looking for more banks to rob. And by the way, they steal smaller bills.
Toby is the smart one, because he is a family man. Actually, he is divorced with an ex-wife (Marin Ireland) and two sons (John-Paul Howard and Christopher W. Garcia), whom he plans to pass down his family ranch to. And Tanner is the reckless ex-con. Not only does he pick fights with people, but he is sometimes reckless in bank robberies, one in which he stuffs his shirt and the other in which he is forced to kill some people.
Jeff Bridges redeems himself from “RIPD,” “The Giver,” and “Seventh Son” as Marcus Hamilton, a retiring Texas Ranger, who is on the case of the robbed small banks with the help of his half breed partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham). They know where they are heading and they try to beat them to it, but the robbers end up going to another bank, which sets up the climax of the movie. There is a fresh connection between Bridges and Birmingham, and the ways they don’t often get along, and how they deal with the outcome of their task.
“Hell or High Water” is one of those thrillers you beg to be fresh, and find out it stays true to your high hopes. You have to stay seated in order to get the hang of the movie’s set-up and the characteristics the criminals and rangers possess. You see gun fights, diners only serving steak, Indian stereotypes, brotherhood, and partnership. All thanks go to Bridges, Pine, Foster, Birmingham, Sheridan, and Mackenzie.