Hell Or High Water tells the story of a divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.
It’s a shame this film didn’t get as much publicity as it should have and it makes the film one of the rare hidden gems, including one of the rare ones that Chris Pine is actually decent in where he’s not playing Captain Kirk in a Star Trek film or the romantic lead he got his start in. Hell Or High Water is a thankfully gritty and realistic film amongst a market of films laden with special affects that are to it’s detriment. Superhero fatigue is a definitely something more commonly felt these days and it’s good films like this are starting to grace our screens. It’s a shame, however, that we have to wait so long for them but it makes it ever more worth it.
Playing believable brothers, both Chris Pine and Ben Foster turn out great performances that really carry a film that relies heavily on top of the game performances, though it’s Foster that stole the show. Even in supporting roles, he makes use of every scene his in and unfortunately more often than not gets overlooked. He needs more recognition for the actor he is and we definitely got another glimpse of his acting chops here. Foster plays against Pine’s more straight edged brother whose struggles are authentically portrayed and both Pine and Foster’s performances are complimented by the mumbling and often hard to understand Jeff Bridges.
It’s not an overdone film and I’m one who particularly dislikes westerns, though this is more of a crime drama than anything else set against the backdrop of the west. It really shows how hard towns in the south have been hit by the recession, with a failing farm and oil industry, and what a particular family has to do to survive. Sympathy is something that can be easily given to the brothers.
With it’s smaller, more confined vibe with nothing big or explosive about it, Hell Or High Water packs an emotional punch in a more real and humanistic way that can be seen in league with films like Drive or even more Place Beyond the Pines.