• Name: Hell or High Water aka Comancheria
• Year: 2016
• Country: USA
• Director: David Mackenzie
• Main cast: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges
• Runtime: 102 minutes
• Production company: Film 44, OddLot Entertainment, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
In the Trivia section of this film at the site IMDB.com you can read “The phrase ‘come hell or high water’ typically means ‘do whatever needs to be done, no matter the circumstances’. It also refers to the ‘hell or high water clause’ which is a clause in a contract, usually a lease, which provides that the payments must continue irrespective of any difficulties which the paying party may encounter. Both definitions apply to different parts of the plot in this movie”. That is totally accurate. You take this explanation, add a great acting trio, a very well narrated thriller, and pretty much you have Hell or High Water.
We could enjoy of this decadent western thiller at the Sitges Film Festival 2016, which in some ways could be surprising since this movie has not a single drop of fantastic, horror or science fiction. It is well written, well acted and well directed dusty thriller about two brothers who take justice with their own hands against the bankers who ripped their mother off and exploited her until her very death in the most pathetic and poor of the situations. But their almost perfect crime will be endagered by a sheriff at the gates of his retirement who seems to have lost the passion for anything in this world but to do his job, one last final time. Hell or High Water depicts the cruel situation lived in the less wealthy areas in deep America, where the ruthless capitalism sent entire families and neighbourhoods to bankruptcy creating real modern time ghost towns.
Although it’s hard to mention one single weak point, the biggest feature of the film are the very dynamic dialogs. A very solid script acted by very competent actors. Ben Foster and Chris Pine are very convincing as the Howard brothers, but the sublime performance of Jeff Bridges as the crepuscular sheriff is what really steals the act. It seems like Jeff Bridges wants to leave his imprint in the history of cinema this time with a kind of The Dude of thrillers (and if you don’t know what I am talking about, please, leave what you are doing and run to watch The Big Lebowski (1998)).
Wide experienced despite his young age, director David Mackenzie creates a very solid piece that will spoil all the senses, from the thrilling editing to the arid decadent scenes so beatifully photographed, and not forgeting an effective soundtrack mixing country rock tunes with and sad ambient orchestration by the always effective team formed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. All together manages to give form to the excelent script signed by actor-turned-into-writer Taylor Sheridan, merely his second text after the big hit Sicario (2015).
Hell or High Water is an excelent thriller, one of the best ones of the last 5 years. Don’t expect horror, monsters or aliens here because it’s only humans trying to deal with the awful world we are living through. But expect a great story easy to go through and enjoyable. Plain and simple like that.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582782
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