Hell or High Water USA 2016 – 102min.
Hell or High Water
Following the death of his mother, Toby is overwhelmed with debt. The family ranch that he has dreamed of passing on to his two sons is about to be taken over by the bank. With his older brother Tanner, recently released from prison with a self-destructive temperament, he embarks on a series of robberies to meet the bank payment needed to save the farm. Their plan is simple: to target small banks in desert cities of West Texas and gradually raise the right amount.
Even with director David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense Starred Up) and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) on board, Hell or High Water is not convincing. This umpteenth story of diametrically opposed brothers filmed in the scorching desert of abandoned America about robberies gone wrong has virtually nothing new to say. It aims for a tragedy that blurs boundaries between good and evil, as evidenced by the bitter conclusion. But as with Triple 9, just released a few months ago, and Out of the Furnace before that, Hell or High Water is based on formulaic characters and is too convinced they will be sufficient to make the whole movie. In the end, the result is not embarrassing, thanks to excellent performances (Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges in one of his usual roles) and a solid mise en scene - it's just disappointing and forgettable.