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An action-thriller directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh and Kathleen Quinlan, it is a film which brings to life a fear I am sure has gone through most adults minds – if the car you are in breaks down on a deserted stretch of highway and a seemingly friendly stranger stops to offer help what would you do? Take the help or not?
Husband and wife, Jeff (played by Kurt Russell) and Amy (played by Kathleen Quinlan) are traveling by car to California to start a new chapter in their lives. Brimming with anticipation, the couple is looking forward to their future. Then fate steps in to put a damper on things.
The car breaks down on a deserted part of the highway they are on. Luck seems to be on their side when a friendly enough stranger driving a truck offers to help them. It is decided that he (played by J.T. Walsh) is going to drive Amy while Jeff waits with the car. But things take a downturn when Jeff gets to the agreed upon meeting place and Amy is not there.
No one in the town seems keen on helping Jeff. They are not talking. It also seems like the police are not inclined to help. This leaves Jeff on his own to find his wife.
What the genre film hangs its hat on are the performances of Kurt Russell and J.T. Walsh. Both are at their best here. Kurt Russell has to switch part way through from a mild mannered guy to one who could move mountains. As for J.T. Walsh, it really confirms that he was an underappreciated actor. One of those character actors who have appeared in a million films but you don’t really notice them. Tragically, he died shortly after the release of the film.
On the downside, there are a few situations or events which happen in the film that make you say “that makes little sense!” Times when escapes could not possibly happen or decisions by characters which make no sense.
Ending with a positive, the scenery is amazing! Those desert shots are fantastic.
- NEW Audio Commentary By Director Jonathan Mostow and Kurt Russell
- NEW Filmmaker Focus: Director Jonathan Mostow on Breakdown
- NEW Victory Is Hers – Kathleen Quinlan on Breakdown
- NEW A Brilliant Partnership – Martha De Laurentiis on Breakdown
- NEW Alternate Opening
- NEW Alternate Opening With Commentary By Director Jonathan Mostow
- NEW Isolated Score
- Theatrical Trailers