Breakdown (1997)

DailyView: Day 151, Movie 232

As I was going through the movies available on my streaming services, I came across a movie that I had not heard of before, despite it starring Kurt Russell. It was called Breakdown and it sounded like a typical action/adventure movie, which appealed to me this lazy Sunday afternoon.

It turned out to be quite a thrilling ride.

Kurt Russell played Jeff Taylor, who, along with his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan), were traveling across country, preparing to move. When they encounter some car trouble, Amy accepts a ride with a trucker (J.T. Walsh) to go and call for a tow. However, Jeff is able to get the car running and goes to where the trucker said he would drop off Amy. She was nowhere to be found. Jeff becomes desperate and, after finding the trucker again, he is shocked when he denies ever stopping to help them.

Where is Amy and what has happened to her? Who is involved in her disappearance?

I really enjoyed this movie a lot. Yes, it has the typical action/adventure logic stretches, but there is nothing in the film that takes me out of the film, and it is certainly carried by the frenetic performance of Kurt Russell. You completely buy the desperation of his character as everything he tries seems to turn up nothing. Finally, when the answer is presented, the film bumps up into an even more thrilling spectacle.

The antagonists of the film do a great job of creating slimeballs that you can really hate, even though we see a second side of J.T. Walsh’s character in the third act that humanizes him a touch. The standout of the lowlifes is LOST’s own Mr. Friendly, M.C. Gainey as Earl. This guy is the first face of the problems that Jeff and Amy have to face and Gainey just thrives in the movie.

The tension amps up through the movie and the pay off in the third act is tremendous. The concluding scene on a bridge is dramatic as could be, even if it is hard to believe. By this point, you are happy to accept what happens because you are so into the action.

A lot of fun and filled with excitement.

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