Viewed – 24 January 2016 online rental
Toby and Jake, two brothers join forces to commit a series of robberies on the same branch of banks foreclosing on their family’s land, in the wake of their mother’s death. Along the way the robbers attract the attention of a world-weary, near-retirement Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges).
I’ve always been a fan of bank robbery movies, crooks on the run etc. and this confident and eye-catching thriller certainty appealed. Add to this Jeff Bridges, one of my all time favourites and we have a recipe for success, right? Well with a trio of solid turns this fun escapade thriller certainly entertained. Ben Foster, one of those actors you know from several movies but may not know his name plays Jake, the more unhinged of the brothers whilst Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine is the more kindly Toby, estranged from his kids but trying to seek out a better future for them … yeah by robbing banks. Despite first impressions, he’s no angel either (but damn do women swoon after him!). For the most part this ticks all the necessary boxes; a likable due of criminals, a seasoned, wise-cracking Ranger and the backdrop of the Texas outback complete with sun-drenched vistas and oddball locales (the steak lady). I was especially surprised by the often fun banter between the brothers and the Ranger and his partner which made for more human characters than I was expecting. Oh and how many Breaking Bad actors can you spot?
However, I did get a feeling of déjà vu whilst watching this, which is no bad thing really … but the movie is clearly a homage to such movies like Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, which only caused the plot to get predictable rather quickly. It also doesn’t help that Bridge’s increasing inability to form easy-to-understand dialogue rears it’s head often making each scene he’s in a little distracting. Thankfully Pine & Foster are on brilliant form with Foster especially stealing the show with perfect, bad-boy elder brother charisma throughout.
It may not do anything all that clever, perhaps wearing it’s cliches with honour. Despite such things though, I still had a ball with this and reckon you might also.
Verdict: 4 /5