director David Mackenzie
viewed: 09/10/016 at CineArts @ the Empire Theater, SF, CA
Though it’s getting fairly consistent good reviews, I didn’t particularly like David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water.
A pair of brothers, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, pull off a series of bank heists in their West Texas landscape. Careful to not grab the kind of dough that would arouse the FBI, the crimes instead are investigated by two Texas Rangers, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham. Bridges is the wily old coot on the verge of retirement that he’s played ever since True Grit (2010) and Birmingham is his long-suffering partner.
Pine’s plan is crazy like a fox, targeting the bank that foreclosed on his family’s farm, but his brother, only a year out of the pen, adds flavors of chaos. This is a post-housing crisis America, if you couldn’t tell by the billboards offering debt relief and the like.
It’s an earnest enough film, with down to earth characters, naturalistic settings, even some apparent local characters thrown in as a dose of reality. Actually, if anything, those local characters were the ones that stood out the most for me. Outside of that, I found it somewhat contrived and the dialogue to be unspectacular.
My son, like a lot of others, really liked it. What can I say? I’m more a curmudgeon than the characters Jeff Bridges plays these days.