Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Hell or High Water is directed by David Mackenzie and it stars Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Gil Birmingham. It tells the stories of four people. Two of them are brothers who turn to bank robbery to save their family’s ranch. One of these two brothers (Pine) isn’t proud of what he’s doing, while the other one (Foster) is having the time of his life. The other two are cops that were put on the case. One is an older gentleman (Bridges) set to retire soon, and the other just wants to finish the case and move on to the next.
Hell or High Water has been receiving glowing reviews from critics, but is it actually a film you need to rush out and see? Here’s what I thought.
Hell or High Water was an extremely entertaining film if you love dramas. This is a very character driven film, and the entirety of the experience depends on the audience being hooked by these characters. It’s very well written, shot, and edited. However, it is a very slow burn and to many moviegoers, it will come off as boring.
It’s important to emphasize that this is a great film. It’s not an exciting summer blockbuster about cops hunting down a duo of bank robbers. It is, however, a really dramatic and realistic film about two struggling cops searching for two brothers trying to save their ranch (who happen to do it by robbing banks).
Jeff Bridges gave a very convincing performance, and it was very easy to buy into him being a cop towards the end of his career, though it is a little tough to understand what he’s saying at first. Gil Birmingham also gave a very strong performance. He hasn’t been in a lot of really notable films, but if he keeps giving performances like this, he certainly will be. Chris Pine and Ben Foster were fantastic as the bank-robbing brothers. But to belittle their characters by calling them simple bank robbers is a sin. There’s infinitely more to these characters than that. They have their own lives, families, and dreams. Pine and Foster, while playing very different characters, were able to capture the brotherly bond between the two magnificently.
The direction by David Mackenzie and the screenplay by Taylor Sheridan are what really pull this whole film together. The dialogue written by Sheridan takes this interesting characters and brings them to a whole new level. It’s quite a feat when a writer can do that, make actual people on screen not just characters in a movie, and that’s what this movie is all about. It’s about people, and the decision they are forced to make under certain circumstances. Hell or High Water doesn’t weigh itself down with protagonists and antagonists. It tells the stories of people on two ends of a spectrum. None of them are bad people, they just make the choices they need to. I think that is why so many people are loving this film. Director David Mackenzie didn’t make a movie, he captured the human spirit.
This is a very difficult film to review. From the standpoint of a die-hard film buff, it’s magnificent. The characters in this film are so realistic, and the performances by all of the leads make them even more so. It’s a very simple, human story. However, from the perspective of an average moviegoer, the slow burn might be interpreted as boredom. Hell or High Water is not the type of film you run around showing everybody and asking them to love it. Many people won’t, and it’s not a fault. Film is entirely subjective. It’s a very particular film for a very particular audience. I happen to believe that this is a brilliant example of how to make compelling characters in a realistic film, and for that reason, I loved Hell or High Water.
What did you think of Hell or High Water? Did you find the characters as interesting as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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