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Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water

Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Dale Dickey, Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges
Genre: Crime Drama

About: In a sleepy, rural Texas town a poor divorced father and his ex-con brother come up with a plan to save the family ranch from being repossessed by the bank.

Review: Hell or High Water has a little something for everyone, which can be a strength, or a weakness. Usually the latter.

Strengths: Beautiful scenery and cinematography. The camera work is done with an eye to the composition of the shot. When coupled with the stunningly stark beauty of Texas and processed with a warm yellow color tone the film looks great. Hint...that ain't Texas! The entire film was shot in New Mexico. But fair enough, it looked like Texas to me.

The film almost makes a sympathetic case for the two bank robbing brothers, setting up their story like a modern day Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. We learn that the small Texas town has a corrupt bank system that the locals disdain and that the locals are none to eager to help the law find these two bandits. That element is the most interesting part of the film...but it's never really explored deeply, which is too bad.

Texas Rangers Marcus (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto (Gil Birmingham) lay in wait for the bank robbers.

Weakness: Is the over the top shootout that comes towards the film's climax. Oh...and I get it, for the movie to make money it has to have some big guns and even bigger explosions and so it does!...but it was never a shoot em up movie in the fist place, so it was disappointing it ended that way.

I didn't notice the graffiti until I seen this photo, notice what it says, which ties into the unexplored sub plot.

I must say I wasn't a fan of the racial taunting of the Indian/Mexican Ranger (Gil Birmingham) by his fellow partner (Jeff Bridges). Bridges plays a crusty old Ranger about to retire from the force, and he enjoy nothing more than taunting his half Indian partner. Of course this shows that he really likes his partner and it's suppose to be funny to boot, all while setting up the ending.

Well, it's not funny to here racial slurs and it's been done before way to often...which makes it cliched, over used troupe. To me it seemed like lazy script writing. With some script changes this could have been an exceptional film.