This had my full attention after checking out the Globe’s Best Picture nominees. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS TRAILER. It’s everything I’d ever want in a movie.
Brothers robbing banks to pay off the same bank and prevent that bank from taking their families ranch? Classic robin hood scenario, except with guns. Throw in some West Texas charm and a little light racism and you’ve got a cant-miss movie. CANT. MISS. Then you add Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges who are two actors who have the ability to draw an audience based on their reputation alone, and you have a certified success on your hands.
I watched it last night and I thought it was excellent. Really well done from top to bottom. Even though I loved it, something has been bugging me. I’ve had one big question rattling around my head that I can’t find an answer to- Why didn’t I know about this movie until this week? Why was it not a huge hit? Or was it a huge hit and I just lost touch this past summer? It’s driving me crazy.
I’ve looked at the numbers and I don’t think I’m losing it. It was released Aug. 12 and made it to DVD on Nov. 22, which means it spent a relatively short time in theaters. It had an estimated budget of $12 million which means it was REALLY tight. Especially with 2 big name actors. In 2007 it would cost $100 million to make and produce a major movie… and that was almost ten years ago. Also you need to factor in roughly 50% of the production cost towards marketing costs. (credit to me for googling a bunch of stuff just now) So that means Hell or High Water had to either spend $4 million on marketing, OR more likely they spent maybe $1 million max… which explains why I never heard of it. What does all this get them? It grossed a humble $26,862,450 in the box office. Not too shabby when you consider the budget and short theater run. BUT that puts them at #86 in top grossing movies of the year…. which is bullshit because this movie does NOT belong behind Zoolander 2 in any category. It’s crazy to me that a movie this well done and has these actors needs the help of the Golden Globe to get mainstream exposure.
Numbers aside, Hell or High Water got a huge bang for their buck when it comes to nominations. It’s up for 3 Golden Globes. Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay. I’d say the only chance at a win would be this guy:
My predictions may change because I admit I haven’t seen most of the movies yet, but I think Jeff Bridges as a supporting actor was the strongest aspect of the film. He was phenomenal. I wasn’t really impressed with his character for the majority of the movie, he was exactly what you’d expect from an old Texas Ranger who’s about to retire and has a partner who’s full blooded Native American. Lots of not-so-subtle jabs and racist remarks. It was a good character for Bridges and he played it well. But it wasn’t great until his partner got shot in the head. At that moment he elevated the character into a show stopper. He took control of the story line. It was no longer about Chris Pine getting away with the money and living happily ever after, it was about this old man committing himself to killing the guy who killed his friend, and figuring out how they pulled off these heists.
They got right into the action with the opening scene and it set the tone for the rest of the movie, which was that these brothers are complete opposites and have no idea what they’re getting into. I was on the edge of my seat during the big finish and the ending left me satisfied with a decent resolution. I need to take points off for not being able to understand some of the dialogue, but not much. The story itself was simple but had layers that gave it the right amount of complexity, and I liked how the writers let pieces of information drop throughout the film to get the full picture of whats going on instead of figuring it out all up front. Had you known the full story at the beginning I don’t think it would have been as successful.
Entertainment rating- 92%
Critic rating- 95%