Directed by David Mackenzie
From 9th September 2016
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Despite the lavish praise heaped upon this movie by various critics it is yet the latest example of the glorification of gun culture in America. Two of the main characters, brothers Tanner (Ben Foster) and Toby (Chris Pine), are portrayed as Robin Hood-like hero figures who rob from the corrupt banks, who have brought austerity and recession to many parts of working-class Texas, in order to pay off the debts on a ranch they own.
But Tanner, in particular, is a psychopath and the two of them have no qualms in shooting dead innocent people, without showing any remorse after doing so, who are caught up in their bank heists.
In ways they aped the greed of banks. Once they had accumulated enough cash to preserve their homestead they became guilty of greed themselves by continuing to rob money from banks.
Despite my reservations there are a number of good points about the film. They include the cinematography by Giles Nuttgens – I particularly admired his wide angle shots – the humour – the best line was when two Texas Rangers, while on the trial of Tanner and Toby, sat down in a T-Bone Steak cafe and perused the menu. The waitress, who had worked there for over forty years, asked them ‘What is it you don’t want?!’
Another memorable line, was uttered by Toby, on reflecting on the strife affecting Texas, ‘My family have always been poor, just like generations of my family going back many years.”
Sadly the reality is that this will continue to be the case for folks afflicted by rapacious banks and corporations.
Veteran Ranger, Marcus, played by Jeff Bridges,who led the pursuit of the two robbers, gave a workmanlike acting performance, but nothing more, in his portrayal of a soon-to- be retired lawman. He has stated this will be his last screen performance because he wants to concentrate more on his guitar picking. No wish to be unkind but this may well be a wise move.