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 übervillain 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