In this episode, we take a good long look at last year’s Best Picture nominee, Hell of High Water, an entry into the modern Western subgenre, with elements of the Crime Thriller and a hint of Noir. It’s the socially relevant story of two brothers driven to bank robbery by a broken system that preys on the poor, and the Texas Ranger charged with hunting them down. Beyond the archetypes and familiar set-up, this terrific movie has a lot on its mind about the disenfranchised working class in America, which makes it an especially timely film to be watching nowadays. As is our custom, we try not to delve to deep into politics, but the very nature of this movie makes it difficult to avoid, and we do spend some time examining the cultural drives that force the protagonists, both as they pertain to the Western and the current climate of the world, specifically gun culture. I don’t think there’s anything here that’s going to bother anyone, but just so you know, we get into a bit. Beyond that, topics of conversation include how much we like Ben Foster, siding with the outlaws, the vanishing west of physical currency slot machines, the gorgeous cinematography of desolation, what I’d do if I was an idiot criminal, Jeff Bridges’s casual racism, and the foundational myth of Self-Determination in the American West! We also talk a fair amount about the Western genre’s representation at the Academy Awards. It’s a solid episode, moves pretty quick.You should all see the movie, it’s pretty good!
At the end of the episode, we spend some time talking about the new Tom Hanks Robert Langdon adventure, Inferno, as well as the franchise as a whole. There’s also a brief mention of John Wick and The Man Who Would Be King, which are both absolutely excellent. Watch them too! Next time on Westerns With Dad, we’ll be talking about the odd Western comedy My Name Is Nobody. It’s a listener request, and you can make one too by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please give us reviews and ratings on iTunes!
Hell or High Water stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. It was written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Benjamin Mackenzie.