The Highwaymen (2019)

John Lee Hancock directs Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson and Kathy Bates in this Great Depression era true story about the retired Texas Rangers employed to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde.

You pair one of my favourite movie stars with one of my favourite character actors and my expectations are set very high. And for the first hour of character introductions and creakily getting back on the road The Highwaymen satisfies in a low key way. It looks right for its setting and Costner and Harrelson form a natural acting partnership, whether silently mourning their lost youth or snarking with each other over sandwiches on a stakeout. There’s a lovely extended scene where Costner meets Clyde Barrow’s father (played by William Sadler) that just sits in the mix like a ghost from a superior film. Maudlin bonhomie will only take us so far though. Plot-wise we get stuck in a rut. While the demise of the infamous criminals in known to us from classic films past, who knew their downfall was so drawn out and unfocused? There’s no grip to the chase, no pulse quickening once the net closes, no sense of approaching finality until the shoot out… just happens. And then just regret again. Regret does not an entertainment make.

5

My Top 10 Manhunt Movies

1. The 39 Steps (1935)
2. No Country For Old Men (2007)
3. Marathon Man (1975)
4. The Bourne Identity (2002)
5. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
6. Odd Man Out (1947)
7. The Fugitive (1993)
8. 3 Days of the Condor (1975)
9. North By Northwest (1959)

10. Midnight Run (1988)

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