“I’ve been on somewhat of a Chris Pine kick lately. I guess it must have been seeing him on the publicity circuit for Star Trek. Stands to reason that I was pretty psyched to see he had an under the radar indie offering sneaking into theaters. Add in it’s stellar reviews and it shot up to the top of my priority list for what turned out to be a pretty stuffed weekend.
Pine stars in a modern day western as a desperate Texan who enlists his brother (played by the illustrious Ben Foster) to help him hold up a couple banks in the area, for what turns out to be a fairly noble purpose. As smartly thought out as their plan may be, they still have a Texas ranger (Jeff Bridges) hot on their trail.
This turned out to be such a well crafted drama on all fronts, and a refreshing change of pace to our hectic spectacle of a summer. This is being heralded as possibly Pine’s career best role, and it is certainly among the meatiest he’s had to sink his teeth into. In a rare turn, he’s neither the charming leading man he’s currently known for playing, nor is he the quirky side character where he started his career. It’s certainly a must for all Pine Nuts to watch.
Foster may not have strayed far from his comfort zone as the misunderstood good guy who does bad, but he provided a solid anchor. He keeps on getting these roles because he’s good at them, and he continually finds ways to make them fresh. And as far as Jeff Bridges, I could never have a bad word to say about the Dude. In anyone else’s hands, his ranger could have been a boring and generic antagonist, but you add that child-like joy Bridges naturally exudes and the maturity and stature that comes with his wealth of experience, and you’ve got a rather formidable foe.
The film also got me thinking a lot of wealth and privilege and how so many people are just stuck in their poverty cycles. The views of sleepy little west Texas towns looked bleak, with little hope for escape for anyone caught up in it (like any of our main characters). It made me evaluate and appreciate the blessing I’ve had in that I’m not stuck in that situation. Just seeing it was frustrating and humbling, and it heightened the tone of desperation that was prevalent throughout the film.
Hell or High Water – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”