Breakdown

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I was hesitant about this movie because I don’t really like Kurt Russell all that much; but I was very entertained and tense and it was all quite unnerving. The short version: Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan are driving across country, break down, and she takes off with a trucker to get help – then, when Kurt starts poking around, no one knows anything and then the real excitement starts.

The previews tell you this much and I will tell you no more, because the fun is watching all the other stuff unfold. But it is very tense and exciting and I believe that the things his character were doing to try and recover his wife were just what any guy would do. No super-heroics or part military training required, just a jolt of survival instinct and a little luck, and the fact that is was an everyman kind of guy going through all this made it all the more exciting. Some superstud ex-Marine type wouldn’t be as potentially fallible, as seat-of-your-pants, and that is what made this movie work.

The bad guys are scary in a real, hick town looney kind of way rather than some seething ├â┬╝bervillain kind of way, and that makes this movie work too. The music is evocative of creepy, wide open spaces and the death that awaits you there. It’s a cool flick, with a good story, and it’s worth paying full price.
And I never say that about Kurt Russell movies.

For the opposite type of vehicle, try renting Executive Decision for contrast.

MPAA Rating R for strong violence/terror and language.
Release date 5/19/97
Time in minutes 96
Director Jonathan Mostow
Studio Paramount Pictures in Association with Dino DeLaurentiis and Spelling Films