"Breakdown" Movie Review

Kurt Russell and his wife (who also played the useless victimized wife in "The Fugitive") fall into trouble when they break the First Movie Commandment: Thou shalt not split up to investigate.

It's a toss-up with this movie; the first half is sloooowwwwww and pretty creepy, while the last half moves quickly but kind of sucks. How do you grade something like that?

I'll give J. T. Walsh 10 points up front for playing the eeevil trucker. He does a great job, as usual, and was responsible for the best part of the movie, when (having kidnapped and disposed of Kurt's wife) he claims not to have any idea what Kurt's talking about. ("Officer, I have never seen this man in my life.")

I also liked the scene where Kurt floats downstream in his brand new, bright red Jeep Cherokee. An innovative escape method, though a pricey one. 5 points.

Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be a creepy, Phillip K. Dick-type mind[bleep] sort of movie turned out to be an ordinary kidnapping flick. Once you get past that first half, with the creepy locals and all, it's strictly mainstream (with a dash of goofiness).

Said goofiness comes in the form of the final half hour, in which it is revealed that J. T. Walsh and his buddies make a hobby out of hijacking out-of-state Yuppies and stealing their stuff. Except they don't SELL the stuff; they stash it all in the barn. Boxes and boxes of camera equipment, luggage, jewelry, that sort of thing. Which begs the question, why bother?

17 points subtracted for J. T. Walsh's wife, who apparently had no idea what he's been up to all these years. Didn't she ever wonder about all that crap in the barn out back?

25 big points subtracted for Kurt, who leaves a gunshot cop to die in the middle of the road. Couldn't he have at least dragged him off the highway? Or applied pressure to the wound so the guy didn't bleed out before the ambulance got there? Reprehensible behavior, Kurt, even if you WERE in such an all-fired hurry to rescue your wife.

5 points grudginly awarded to Kurt for interrupting the bad guy's final speech with a swift kick to the face. Okay, that WAS pretty cool.

Final score: 28 points.

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