Hell Or High Water:
the internet told me that Hell Or High Water was supposed to be good.
one of the best movies of the year, according to 4Chan's /tv/ board, which is where i get pretty much all of my news about pop culture.
the internet was not wrong.

Hell Or High Water is a movie about a couple of good ol' boys who decide to rob banks in west Texas.
the pair are brothers and they are robbing banks to pay off the reverse mortgage lien against their mother's ranch because it turns out there is oil to be wrung out of their land and if the brothers don't pay off the lien, the bank will foreclose and all of that oil will go to the bank.
so they rob a bank, then a second, then they drive up to Oklahoma to launder their money in an Indian casino.
after a while the Texas Rangers get word of what's going down and two Rangers get assigned to the case.
the Good Ol' Boy Brothers rob a third bank then a fourth, though that one goes awry because this is Texas and everybody is packin' heat.
the Good Ol' Boy bank robber brothers get into a shootout with the good ol' boy bank customers and two people get killed.
the Good Ol' Boy bank robber brothers get chased by the good ol' boy bank customers and only turn around when one of the brothers fire on them with ninety rounds form an AR-15.
all of this attracts the attention of the Texas Rangers who chase the Good Ol' Boy bank-robbers up into the hills.
one of the Good Ol' Boy Bank Robbers kills one of the Texas Rangers, and the other Texas Ranger kills one of the Goold Ol' Boy Bank Robbers, but the other gets away.
apparently there isn't any evidence to be had about the other brother's involvement in the bank robberies and so he gets away with the crime.
he buys his momma's house back from the bank and now gets to make $50,000 a month off of mineral rights, the end.

Hell Or High Water is one of those movies where the real star of the show is the ambiance.
the scenery, the background characters, the way people act and carry themselves are all Texas as shit.
nobody ever seems to be phased by being in a bank robbery, they all just take it in stride like fucking cowboys.
the story was good, too.
i am always a fan of heist movies.
heist movies allow me to live vicariously through the criminals, to be able to pretend, if only for a little while, that i've got some fucking balls.
i have always aspired to bank robbery.
i will never do it, mostly because of cowardice, but also because so far i still have other options, but, like an impotent old man, i still like to watch the girls as they walk by from time to time.
bank robbers are the great heroes of the American story, thumbing their noses at the system of oppression that Capitalism brings by reaching into the aether and pulling out money from nowhere.
if people can rob a bank without hurting anybody they have earned my most profound respect.
unfortunately, though Hell Or High Water makes a pretty sympathetic story for the two Good Ol' Boy Bank Robbers, they still ended up murdering four people in their crime spree and that's not cool.
Hell Or High Water made it pretty plain that the real villains of the story are the banks that exist to steal land out from under people, but, in the end, that message gets lost to the fact that the Good Ol' Boys killed four people for no good reason but their own greed.
which is a shame. it sullies the good name of honest bank robbers everywhere.

what stands out most about Hell Or High Water is that the entire plot would have been entirely unnecessary if the Good Ol' Boys could have just gotten their hands on a $40,000 loan for a few weeks.
once they were able to pay off the reverse mortgage lien on their deceased mother's property, they could lease the land to the oil and gas company and start collecting their fortune.
but, as the PSE and i can attest to when we're trying to get a loan to buy a house, borrowing money ain't easy.
still, the Good Ol' Boys were dealing with an attorney who was helping them with the mortgage paperwork. you would think he could have staked them out of pocket for a 200 percent return on investment
i guess nobody wants to watch a movie about a lawyer lending money to some Good Ol' Boys at high interest rates, though, so, Hell Or High Water becomes a movie about bank robbery.
also, they're still drilling up oil in Texas? that didn't run dry in the 1970s?

for being a movie about how banks fuck people over, for being a movie about some guys who try to stand up for themselves against the crippling weight of a barren economy, a lack of opportunity and a system rigged against the have-nots, and for being West Texas as shit, Hell Or High Water earns an 8.3/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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