Note: This is the non-spoiler version of my review, the spoiler version of my review will be up within a few days.
I didn't really have any expectations heading into Hell or High Water. The trailers I watched before heading into the theatre looked very good, but I was pretty hesitant to go all in and expect a great movie. The plot seemed like it could be your typical bank robber movie, and I've been pretty disappointed by almost every movie I've seen lately. So I was pretty surprised when I came walking out of the theatre thinking that this is the best movie of the summer.
Like I said before, the trailers I watched beforehand made it seem like it was going to be your typical bank robber story. Two brothers robbing banks and running from the law... That's totally never been done before. But in the end it doesn't matter, because the plot played out in a way that I didn't expect and overall I was very satisfied with the ending. There is no fluff in this movie, every scene has a purpose, and a damn good purpose at that.
The script in this movie is freaking fantastic. It's a serious movie but humor is sprinkled in throughout. Nearly every joke lands, and the entire theatre was laughing at times. They also make some great strides with character development, and I was very invested in the four main characters by the half-way point. They really took a simple bank robber story and made it into something special.
There aren't many characters in this movie to be honest. There's the two brothers, the two Texas Rangers, and then a bunch of side characters who barely play a role in the movie. The chemistry between the two brothers is great and really there's never a dull moment between them, the same can be said about the pair of Texas Rangers. I was actually pretty worried about whether or not Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges would really fit in the roles they were cast for, but damn, they sure did prove me wrong because they both nailed it.
This movie is set in West Texas, and they do a fine job of capturing what it is really like out there. I live in Texas, and I've been to out west a few times. And what I saw while I was out there mimicked what I saw in the movie. It seems like I'm a little more excited about that than I should be, but you'd be surprised at how often movies mis-represent Texas.
This is the main issue with the movie. While this movie may be great, it's not for everyone. It's certainly not a movie I'd take my kids to. F-bombs are spread throughout and there a brief scene of one of the brothers having sex with a prostitute, plus there's a decent amount of violence in the second half of the movie. Apart from it not being a movie meant for kids, it's only going to appeal to a certain percentage of adults out there. If you like bank robber movies in general, see this movie. If you like the idea of a modern western but with a bank robber twist, see this movie. If you just like movies with great dialogue, see this movie. But if you're expecting an action movie, or if you're not a fan of modern westerns.... You will not like this movie. The majority of the people in the theatre with me were 40+ if that gives you any idea of who this appeals to, but I'm half their age and as I've said I think this is the best movie of the summer.
Hell or High Water completely blew my expectations out of the water, and I am certain that you'll agree that this is the best movie of the summer. The story develops in a way I didn't expect and has a great ending, the characters are greatly developed throughout the movie and you'll feel for them by the end, and the ending left me with memories of a movie I saw a few years ago that starts with "No Country" (note that I said memories, it's not exactly the same).