Sunday, December 2, 2012

Breakdown (1997)

Jeff Taylor (Kurt Russell) and his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan) are taking a trip to San Diego. Everything is calm at first, as they drive across a deserted highway, but a near collision with the angry driver of a pickup truck changes everything. After a brief stop and a nasty encounter with the driver of the pickup truck, Jeff and Amy decide to get back on the road, but their car quickly shuts off. Jeff and Amy are seemingly stranded in the middle of nowhere, but a truck driver offers some help. Red Barr (J.T. Walsh) gives Jeff’s wife a ride to a local diner, and at first, Red seems like a nice and harmless guy, who wanted to lend a helping hand. Amy leaves with Red to call for help, but shortly after his wife’s departure, Jeff makes a startling discovery: someone intentionally rigged his car. Jeff fixes the problem quickly, but his troubles are far from over. Amy has gone missing, and for Jeff, finding a helping hand won’t be so easy.

Jeff and Amy are two characters, who you can really care about. At first, they’re just two innocent travelers, who stumble into a life threatening situation, and Jeff has to fight impossible odds, if he wants to stay alive and rescue his wife from danger. I always root for these characters to survive, when I watch this film, and Kurt Russell does a fine job with the lead role. He did deliver a very believable performance in this film, and the Jeff character does have his moments as a bad ass. Jeff is forced to rise to the challenge of fighting the kidnappers, his manhood is tested throughout this film, and Russell really did bring life to his character. Also, the antagonists in this film do provide some believable feelings of anger. The kidnappers are these lowlife and cold-hearted scumbags, who will stop at nothing to put Kurt Russell through hell. The performances from J.T. Walsh, M.C. Gainey, Jack Noseworthy, and Ritch Brinkley helped take everything to the next level, and you can truly despise the bad guys in this film.

Breakdown's story is familiar, and the plot might feel kind of ordinary and predictable, but this can still be a very enjoyable suspense/thriller. This film features some good acting, and the constant twist and turns will keep you guessing until the very end. Breakdown is a crafty thriller, that features some excellent tension, and the final moments are packed with suspense and action. This film has always been one of my favorites. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen this one, but Breakdown can always entertain me.

Final Rating: 7/10

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