Stars: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges
Director: David Mackenzie
Rating: MA15+ (Strong Violence)
Released: 13 August 2016 (Australia)
It seems that Ben Foster can do no wrong. Up there with the most underrated actors of his generation (Paul Dano being the most in my opinion), Foster puts in a brilliant performance as the volatile ex-con Tanner Howard in this critically acclaimed neo-Western heist film.
Playing Tanner’s recently divorced brother Toby is Chris Pine, a sullen performance that is a strong yin to Foster’s yang. The two play a pair of bank robbers that hit banks in the early hours of the morning before peak time hits. Usually well-planned heists, Tanner’s unpredictability leads to unnecessary risk taking which frustrates Toby. Hot on their heels is an ageing Texas Ranger, Marcus Hamilton (played by an ever-grumbling Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham). Although putting in a good performance, I found Bridges’ character and his ethnic slurs becoming trite quite quickly. Even though he and his partner they were obviously close, I found that at least half of his dialogue was racially based.
Other than the performances of Foster and Pine, this movie stands out for its beautiful cinematography. Capturing the barren, semi-arid West Texas landscape in all its glory, cinematographer Giles Nuttgens enjoyed a great 2016 with his other film, Fundamental of Caring, also being one of my favourites of the year.
I would recommend this for fans of the films actors, beautiful landscapes, getaway movies or anyone wanting to move into the new age of Western cinema.