Hell or High Water (II) (2016)
4/10
Despite the great performances and beautiful cinematography, it was like watching paint dry.
7 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Despite the great performances and beautiful cinematography, it was like watching paint dry because the story wasn't there and the pacing was slower than a statue crawling in a leisurely stroll down a sidewalk. The story is supposed to be about two brothers who rob the branches of one specific bank, Texas Midland Bank, and the two Texas Rangers (not one as the advertising would lead you to believe) that chase them. The plan is to rob the banks that hold the reverse mortgage on the ranch the younger brother inherited and then use that money to payoff the mortgage. Aka, pay the bank with the same money they stole from it, after they launder the money through an out of state casino of course. Two Texas Rangers that don't really like each other are assigned the case. Of course, one is an old near retirement bigot and the other is Mexican and Commanchie minority. Of the brothers, one is a father with two sons and an ex-wife. The other brother is an ex-con that was convicted of - what else?- bank robbing. He is looking for redemption. He is dumber than his younger brother. That is all the depth these characters have because They all are rather flat and swallow. The story is shallow because certain things were never explained. They tell that the bank is evil and deserve to be robbed. But they never tell you why or show the bank doing an evil act to deserve retribution for their action. This makes it hard to feel for the brothers. Don't use old overworked tired reference clinches. SHOW US! The makers of this film relying on the average audience members having their own problems with their banks in order to having immediate sympathy with the brothers. That is a bad idea and lazy storytelling. In, the way the details of the plan was worked out and who thought of it was vague too. We never see the young brother coming up with the plan. We just hear everyone else say he thought of it AFTER THE PLAN WAS ALREADY SET INTO MOTION when the film starts! Yes, we don't see any of the pre-planning. Lazy storytelling again. In fact, almost all of the script seams to be racists jokes about Mexicans, Indians, Christians, and religion. Oh, and of course, near the end, we see the tired cliché of the old ranger having a hound dog as a pet.

This film does have it's good points like it's realistic touches and cinematography that makes you feel in you are in Texas. However, when it comes to the acting, it falls apart. The lead roles all turn in stellar performance which Pine and Bridges are the best. But once you get past the leads, it comes crystal clear many of the supporting roles had people who were not professional actors, especially the cowboy in the bank, the Cowboys in the restaurant, and the T-bone steak waitress. But even with the professional actors there was a problem because between Bridges and Gil Birmingham who play the two Texas Rangers, there was no chemistry at all between the two actors. Birmingham played his role like he was made of wood because it was so understated.

This movie is way way over hyped. Save money. Wait for it on free TV.
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