ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Texas Heist Caper: Hell Or High Water

Updated on September 7, 2016
Source

Sometimes people rebound from economic hard times, and sometimes they find the hard times continue to follow them. A pair of brothers go to desperate measures to change their fortune in Hell Or High Water. Toby Howard (Chris Pine) is a divorced father who's behind on alimony payments, as well as on payments on his on the family ranch, which the bank is eager to get for other reasons. Facing foreclosure, he tells his brother Tanner (Ben Foster) about the problem. Tanner, who has done prison time, comes up with a plan. They enter the local banks and rob them, and taking just the smaller bills. After hitting three different banks, they head to Oklahoma, where Tanner uses the money at the poker table to turn the stolen money into more money.

Their heists get the attention of Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), a lawman on the verge of mandatory retirement. The local authorities, needing an assist, get it in Hamilton and his Native American partner, Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham). They come from Lubbock, where they deal with reluctantly cooperative locals. The pair stays in a local hotel, waiting for the Howard brothers to make their next move. Hamilton sees the robbery patterns, and narrows his focus to just two banks. One of the brothers also goes against their usual script for their next heist.

Hell Or High Water is an interesting picture that reminds me of another film set in Texas - the Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men. Both films feature an aging law enforcement officer trying to close one final case going against a seasoned criminal. Screenwriter Tyler Sheridan follows up his screenplay for Sicario with another crime drama that has some twists. For example, Sheridan provides viewers the difference between Texas Rangers, who do their jobs with dignity and efficiency, and Texas rangers, who find it difficult to make ends meet, and don't blame the children of theirs when they don't want to take over their lands. This marks just the second US picture for the Scottish director David Mackenzie. The pace is a little too slow at times between the robberies, but he captures the sense of emptiness on the wide open spaces.

I enjoyed the work of the leads in this. Bridges does his usual fine work as Hamilton, the Ranger who knows he has to leave his career, but has the restlessness usually seen in much younger men. The widowed Hamilton does not look forward to the time when he's not working, though he does practice relaxing in a rocking chair at times. His life is about cracking cases, and not about leaving that work to someone else. Foster does a strong job as the brains of the Howard outfit, taking the lead on the capers while Toby follows - and sometimes doesn't participate. Pine is solid as the careful Toby, who just wants to keep a roof over his head and care for his ex-wife and family. The one scene between Toby and Marcus shows just how careful the younger Howard can be. Birmingham, who's big screen credits include a couple of Twilight movies, offers very good support as Parker, the partner who's envious of Hamilton, who doesn't understand Alberto's envy.

The plight of the folks who work the land is nothing new. Frank Norris wrote about the hard times over a century ago. The Farm Aid comcerts have become an annual event for those who struggle to keep working the land. Hell Or High Water puts a personal face on the issue. The locals respect the law and sympathize with those down on their luck, but they often have their own version of no snitching. They know they have big business looking for a way to take their livelihood, and they know they can't do much about it. Hell Or High Water shows both the good and bad in Tanner and Toby's intentions, but they at least have a plan with intended benefits. The film doesn't condone robbery, but it shows the sense of desperation the Howards and others feel from day to day.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Hell Or High Water three stars. Oh, give me a home?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Thanks TF. This was one of the better movies of the summer season.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      2 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Thanks. I collect stuff about Texas, even if it's fictional. I especially like the fact that Bridges is playing a Texas Ranger. :)

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Thanks Mel. Jeff Bridges has a resume of very impressive work, and much of that to recommend. I know I can't expect readers to see every film I recommend, but I look forward to giving you and others some ideas for cinema visits or film rentals. I want people to enjoy the experience. Happy viewing - whenever you have the time.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      2 years ago from San Diego California

      I like Jeff Bridge's work. He's one of those old school Hollywood throwbacks that just keeps going. Thanks for introducing me to these movies I would never go see for myself. I'll let you pay the ticket and buy the popcorn first, then decide whether to throw down my own cash. Great work.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)