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Hell or High Water Review (2016) | David Mackenzie Helms Another Masterpiece

Another great year for Taylor Sheridan as he writes another gorgeous piece Hell or High Water right after registering the extraordinary 2015 flick Sicario in the Hollywood books. The movie directed by David Mackenzie is a story of two brothers who set out on a bank robbery spree to save their family ranch in West Texas.

The beauty of Hell or High Water lies in its rugged originality, in its deadpan words that reflect reality. The way the movie trundles on its Western look and feel without losing sight of its true objective makes it an outright winner.

Direction of Hell or High Water Movie

I just love David Mackenzie’s direction. It pays utmost attention to character bearings, their talking mannerism, calm comportment at adverse times and the right on delivery of their dry humor. In his direction of the flick, he doesn’t miss out on acing the Western vista. The effortless flair is invariably there.

hell or high water brothers chris pine and ben foster

Then it is the way he lingers on a scene, until he squeezes out every bit of acting from his characters. His every scene stays definitive and complete giving the viewers plenty of perspective into the tale. Then the context of a relationship that he binds so beautifully with its characters goofing around with each other is amazing too. Even though there was a lot of Taylor Sheridan to it, Mackenzie just nails it, hands down.

Plot and the Pairing Up

While the movie banks on its robbing brothers Toby and Tanner portrayed by Chris Pine and Ben Foster perfectly to show one side of the tale, we have Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham as Marcus Hamilton and Alberto Parker silently working for the right side. The Howard brothers are the rampaging loners who steer the story forward.

Lord of the Plains.

Constantly pulling each other’s legs are Alberto and Marcus who are trying to hunt the brethren down. It is their chemistry that makes the movie a genial hoot.

Whilst the plot might sound like a bit cliched given the number of “bank job” movies that are out there, the reason here is a tad different. Toby and Tanner are trying to save their ranch, that is up for foreclosure. They have found oil in it, meaning a perfect life  for posterity. The only way out they see is by plundering banks. They are burying their four wheeler alibis in their property that can’t be touched. They wipe off their traces making it impossible for the cops to figure out the who. In short, they are really smart.

But with an even smarter cop they don’t stray far away. You can see Marcus getting closer to them with his instincts. Eventually a shootout breaks wherein Tanner loses it. Sniping Alberto he tags himself under the cross-hair of Marcus. And pays the price with his life. Toby goes on to purchase the ranch, thus earning loads of money, securing the future of his estranged children.

We are served an awesome standoff in the end where we find them pressed against each other. Yet the movie just ends with a threat in disguise leaving of what might ensue to viewer’s imagination.

Crime Movies

It must be very well understood what a crime movie tries to achieve. There’s always going to be the good side as long as their is bad in the world. There needs to be someone or something vilifying and cooling down the damage done . So no matter how badass the villainy might seem, or how likable a wicked character ends up becoming, eventually it has go down under the truck.

Toby: You talk like we ain’t gonna get away with this.

Tanner: I’ve never met nobody who got away with anything, ever.

But then there is that character akin to Robin Hood, who did whatever he did for the impoverished and the weak. He justifies the things that he has done. He is exonerated in the eyes of the public since he was doing the right thing. And not doing it just for the heck of it. He did not kill anybody and did not commit a crime so horrendous that could not be forgiven.

Toby and Tanner are paragons of such characters. Also, there is nothing above the law. No amount of good you do after you have done something bad can wipe that slate clean. Here, Marcus stays the epitome of law.

You can order Hell or High Water here:

Awesome Scenes to Watch Out For (Spoilers Ahead)

Hell or High Water doesn’t run short on its ultimate tinge of badassery. Like that scene wherein Tanner Howard stares blankly at a sporty car that stops at the gas station. And the owner is a bloke with a gun who feels offended of him gawking.

Boy, you’d think there were 10 of me.

The camera is placed such so you can see Toby making his way back from the shop. And then as things were beginning to get ugly Toby arrives just in the nick of time to literally destroy the poor guy. That’s one hell of an adrenaline rush.

Then there is that slapstick wit, that savoury tang that is always lurking in Tanner’s mouth. Like the time when he is intimidated by Bear who says:

I am a Comanche. Do you know what it means? It means ‘Enemy to everyone’.

Tanner who can’t be messed with either responds almost immediately with a comeback:

Do you know what that makes me? A Comanche.

The Final Verdict

Hell or High Water is a beautiful movie that is made even better by its entire Western setup and its splendid screenplay. Powerful performances by its characters make it thoroughly enjoyable. It never strays from its cardinal crux – come what may , thus justifying the title as well. A David Mackenzie beauty that should not be missed.

You can check out the trailer of Hell or High Water movie here:

 

The Finest Hours Review (2016)

A survivor tale that goes dodgy mid-way, scrabbles towards the end with an insipid feel.

Unfortunately for this one, I can’t say my two hours were the finest hours of my life. The movie’s dramatic quotient is bland.

SPOILERS:

Chris Pine is an absent unimpressive Coast Guard hero who seemed oddly placed in the shoes of Bernie Webber. Ok, so he was trying to depict a sheepish introvert, yet Craig Gillespie just makes him disappear like an apparition. He does the opposite with Ray Sybert played brilliantly by Casey Affleck though, the guy who kept the Pendleton afloat for hours in a punishing storm. Casey looked engrossed in his job, very intelligent, and despite being scared was trying to save lives of the people around. Ray, au contraire, just wanted to get married to Miriam, and follow orders. It seemed in the beginning the way he slouched around with his team that he didn’t really care about people’s endangered lives.

Screenplay is very shoddy, doesn’t have anything interesting for word-freaks. The love story that Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias have endeavoured to weave makes you indifferent towards their romance. It starts out pretty good though but then is lanced by mediocre lines, and unfelt romance. Editing is below average and often makes you wonder out loud what should have been shown and what we could have lived without.

There is literally at one point a “What-the-hell” moment when Miriam Webber walks into the office of the Coast Guard, and refuses to leave, and “orders” the Coast Guard officer to bring the boys back. When Daniel Cluff (played by Eric Bana) retorts, she storms off in her car only too drive into a snow mound. I mean, that entire affair will make you go “Whaaaaaaaaat!” It was supposed to be subtly written and should have packed in the right amount of sentiment, which was clearly missing. But it all seemed so stupid with her weird acting that you can’t really shake it off.

The Finest Hours misses big time on its much needed emotional trauma. You don’t feel a thing for anybody. If it was helmed properly, you would. At the end of the movie, Bernie doesn’t get a hero’s welcome as he disembarks the CG-36500, but rather his lover’s warmth, which leaves you actually vexed. You wish it was milked more or maybe shown in subtlety.

The Finest Hours is good but it could have plunged in better waters to be honest. A one time watch if you want to know about the Coast Guard bravado, a rare feat that saved 32 lives on just a mere lifeboat.

Horrible Bosses 2 Movie Review (2014) | Tickles You Without a Good Plot

The wacky trio is back and they are back with not only a bang, but also with a bag of tickles. Horrible Bosses 2 Movie walks in with an okayish script by Sean Anders which appears more of a deliberate attempt to justify its moniker. It isn’t exactly what we were expecting from Horrible Bosses movie sequel but it’s still fine to make do.

Plot of Horrible Bosses 2 Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

To serve the cardinal plot of the movie the trio is hoping to be bosses this time in Horrible Bosses 2 movie. Little did they know getting into such shoes was a Herculean task. Reprising roles of Nick Hendricks, Dale Arbus, and Kurt Buckman, they come up with a brilliant idea called ‘Shower Buddy’. Struggling to find an investor, they get contacted by Bert Henson and Rex Hanson who order them to make 100000 units only to back out in the end. Invested completely in the manufacturing of their product, all three of them end up in a colossal debt.

still of chris pine addressing trio in horrible bosses 2 movie

Finding all doors closed they decide to resort to desperate measures. A kidnapping plan ensues however they screw it up when they reach Rex’s house. To their surprise when they return to their warehouse they find Rex tied up inside the trunk. It was none other than Rex who had staged his own kidnapping to get back at his dad. He increases the ransom money and blackmails them to go to the police if they didn’t comply with his plan. When Rex realizes his father cares more about money than him, he breaks down making the trio sympathetic towards him. Agreeing to fake his kidnapping, they tag along to see the whole thing through.

You can order the Extended Cut of Horrible Bosses 2 here:


Humour Quotient of the Flick

The humour stays brilliant nevertheless. What do you expect when the likes of Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis are there to steer comedy together with their amazing comic timing? Charlie Day beams you up with his clumsiness keeping the comedy alive. All of them are really funny. What makes Bateman unique is that he is the only sane person in the group trying to jack-hammer some sense into his moronic buddies whilst Jason and Charlie keep driving into the inane all the time.

Both Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine wear the wicked veil just fine. And Jamie Foxx the MF, is still awesome. The way he negotiates. Ha! 😛 So many great laughs strewn all across the flick, it wouldn’t let you settle down for a bit.

The Final Verdict

The story is a bit annoying at times, when it keeps going up and down the good guy – bad guy dunes. It becomes predictable as we knew things had to go kaput since the franchise is all about that. However, in the end it is nothing but the dope comic timing of its actors that makes it a decent watch.

Oh! And yeah! There is Mike 😉 Breaking Bad fans will be thrilled. It is kind of a cameo.

Go for this one. Hysterical stuff!

You can check out the trailer of Horrible Bosses 2 Movie here: