Release date: November 22, 2016
Studio:CBS Films, Lionsgate
Starring:Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham
“To Hell and High Water” what an amazing exercise in desolate beauty! This is an amazingly understated crime Thriller with a focus on on Hollywood exaggeration. “Hell and high water” is wonderfully stripped down, no frills, and bare bones… and I loved it!
You start out by jumping right into the action, but even that is presented in a wonderfully toned down fashion. There’s a certain greatness to the overall tone, or palate of the film, which I really appreciated. The film accomplished an amazing feat in keeping us on the edge of our seats while, the same time, presenting deep and complex characters which you really become involved with emotionally. The latter statement is true of just about every character in this film, from the smallest part to the main stars.
The main actors Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, and Chris Pine did a phenomenal job representing and flushing out their individual characters, however it is clear that the director make sure that everyone had a richness about their characters. There is one particular scene that involved a waitress and even though the part was fairly small the actress presented an amazing assortment of emotional levels.
The story revolves around two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who have come up with a plan to get themselves out of the horribly impoverished situation that they are in. That plan being, unfortunately, to relieve certain banks of their drawer money.
One of the many interesting facets of this film was how it opens up. It’s a kind of 360 shot that shows the town, assorted buildings, a woman going towards the bank, a few cars and then the two main characters getting out of one of those cars. The reason I mention this is because most Hollywood films jump right into explosions and gunfire and things of that nature. What I liked about this film is that it did not do that. The movie focused on the characters and their backstory. Now don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of action in this film! Ben Foster’s character “Tanner Howard” made sure of that! Tanner is a just out of jail fireball. He is the bull in the China shop in contrast to Toby Howard’s (Chris Pine) calm planner type.
The plan is strike several banks for a specific purpose. The interesting thing is that this is not a Robin Hood story. This has a very interesting underlying message of frustration over banks abusing their power and taking advantage of the common citizenry.
One of the other things I appreciate it is that Jeff Bridges character it’s simply not politically correct. He and his partner share a certain repartee with each other. And what I would imagine we’ll be typical fashion they insult each other quite regularly throughout the film. I found this rather refreshing seeing as how we live in a very, very sensitive environment. I appreciate it that they were both thick skinned enough handle a playful banter. Story follows through very smoothly and the characters information previously very rich and texture. I couldn’t more highly recommend watching this movie as it is a refreshing rather fresh air combining dismal Beauty, believable action and twists in the characters to keep you very entertained.