"Hell or High Water" will stir up a dull, uneventful Summer 2016 with powerful artistry

"One thing about the Cannes film festival is that you watch so many noteworthy films that you are bound to lost track of some. Case in point David Mackenzie’s "Hell or High Water" which screened as part of the Un Certain Regard program. Mackenzie’s previous film, Starred Up, showed real promise for tightly knit action and suspense. It also featured a stellar performance from then up and coming Jack O’Connel."



"Hell or High Water" stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. It’s a heist movie that can also be interpreted as a meditative western. Pine plays a divorced dad that, with the participation of his ex-con brother played by Foster, concocts a desperate scheme to save his family farm, which just so it happens has discovered richly abundant petroleum. They both hit Midlands banks across the state, one after another. Meanwhile, Bridges plays Marcus a Deputy Sheriff that is about to retire, but is sucked right back in along with his half-Comanche partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham)."

"On paper it sounds trivial and almost too clichéd to work, yet Marcus is a crowd pleaser, a man with so much wisdom and no-bulls thoughts that Bridges’ performance turns almost transcendentally comic. The bank-robbing scenes are impressively shot and choreographed and rank among the very best the genre can offer. Mackenzie is about to hit the big time with this one as Hollywood will no doubt be knocking at his door with a lot more opportunities."

"The film was written by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote last year’s similarly constructed "Sicario". Oddly enough this film gets itself into similar structural issues as the former film. The talky final scene is, although well thought-out, unnecessarily prolonged and by the mid-way point a few oddball narrative choices get made that do the film a disservice. Those are minor complaints for a film that is very much the kind that Andrew Dominik tried to make four years ago with "Killing Them Softly". This one works in spades, that one sadly did not." Cannes Review. 5.18.16
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