Monday, January 23, 2017

Hell or High Water

HELL OR HIGH WATER (2016) is a robust character-driven film described by Wikipedia as an "American Western heist-crime." And to these enviable ingredients, it should be added "funny," especially the ribbing banter between Tanner Howard (Ben Foster), an ex-con, and his younger brother Toby (Chris Pine).

Tanner: "This is Mr. Pibb. I asked for a Dr. Pepper."
Toby: "So?"
Tanner: "Only assholes drink Mr. Pibb."
Toby: "Drink up."

The boys have taken to robbing banks in west Texas to pay off a debt on the family ranch which is on the brink of foreclosure by the Texas Midlands Bank. Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) along with his partner Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) are tracking the Howard's. Marcus is near retirement and is thankful for the last-minute reprieve from the rocking chair as he stakes out a bank he suspects the brothers will hit next.

The final showdown is action-packed perfection, but the real joy is the sharp dialogue written by Taylor Sheridan, accompanied with dynamic music from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis who also collaborated on THE PROPOSITION (2005).

11 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Good movie. The DP comment made me wonder if someone had read Sherrif Rhodes.

David Cranmer said...

Yes! I think they did, Bill.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I like such movies, so I will be watching it. And then there's Jeff Bridges.

David Cranmer said...

Jeff turns in a decidedly un-Jeff performance which I enjoyed. A real fine movie, Prashant.

Scott Parker said...

Loved the DP comment. The sentiment is true. I half wondered if they were going to comment on DP with sugar vs. corn syrup. BTW, there is only one true DP.

The old waitress scene--"What don't you want?"--had me and my wife laughing out loud. We know folks like that.

Really enjoyable film. But, oddly, not filmed in Texas. WTH?

David Cranmer said...

Scott, I laughed at the old waitress scene too though I have never been served by that particular personality—I can only imagine. Admit I have drank Mr. P in a pinch but prefer D.P. Must have been cheaper to film in Eastern New Mexico.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely looks good. seems like we're living in a bit of a golden age for smaller movies and good TV

David Cranmer said...

I would agree, Charles. Last few years have seen some remarkable films especially on the small screen.

oscar case said...

I'll have to watch it!

David Cranmer said...

It's a good one, Oscar.

Elgin Bleecker said...

This was my favorite film of 2016. Good story, good acting. Glad to see that Oscar remembered it.