Hubs and I have been on a movie kick recently. We typically stick to the more popular movies being released, but when we came across Hell or High Water, we couldn’t help but appease our curiosity. Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster in a bank robbing film set in west Texas. What better cast could you ask for?
Following a series of armed robberies at a number of branches of Texas Midland Bank where very little money was taken, we learn that the motive of unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his brother — just released from prison — is to raise enough money to pay off the reverse mortgage that will forfeit their recently deceased mother’s ranch if not paid off. Oil was discovered on the ranch and in order to secure the future of his sons and ex wife, Toby needs $43,000. After two of the robberies, curmudgeonly Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his American Indiana deputy partner pick up the trial and just miss foiling the next, and last robbery.
***SPOILERS***You have been warned***
As the movie unfolds, we learn Tanner (Ben Foster) is the older brother who shot his father, thus landing him in jail for the first time with a second visit to the slammer after robbing a bank. Tanner was estranged from his mother, but Toby (Chris Pine) looked after her before she passed. Texas Midland Bank seemingly took advantage of their mother by loaning her a reverse mortgage and paying the taxes on the property for some time. The debt hole seemed to only get bigger, and there was no way for Toby and Tanner to pay the large debt on the land.
Toby becomes the mastermind and decides to enlist his brother’s help in robbing several branches of the very bank that had taken advantage of their mother in order to pay off the debt and ensure a better life for his family. At $50,000 a day per pump placed on the land for oil, his children would be well off. They complete their mission, but the last robbery goes array when good Samaritans are killed. Tanner drives the police and the able bodied men to the desert to allow Toby to get away where his is shot and killed. Toby completes the cash-in of all the money needed to pay off the loans by chipping it out to a casino and places the land in a trust for his sons.
This movie is seriously underrated even at a 7.8/10 on IMDB. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie that delivers on crime, drama, rooting for the underdog, and feeling for the characters position. As a parent, I would go above and beyond for my daughter. I’d do just about anything to ensure she has a life greater than any she could ever dream, but bank robbing might be a far stretch. As a fellow parent, I can feel everything Toby portrays as a father desperate to create a secure future for his children.
Tanner on the other hand, that man (Ben Foster) is an extremely underrated actor and deserves awards for the amazing skills he has. He can play any part from villain to hero and everything in between. He absolutely makes this movie phenomenal!
Definitely worth the watch!