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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Breakdown (1997)

As you might remember, I watched Bone Tomahawk (2015) last week after a few of you mentioned how good it was in the comments of my Happy 70th Birthday Kurt Russell post on Facebook.

Well, another film that got mentioned is one I remember wanting to watch all the way back in the late 90s after I saw the trailer for it. It’s some how eluded me all these years but I finally watched it last night and I loved it!!

Breakdown (1997)

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a tense action thriller starring Kurt Russell (The Thing), Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13) and J.T. Walsh (A Few Good Men) among others.

This is what it’s about:

While driving across America to start a new life in San Diego, a married couple, Jeff (Russell) and Amy Taylor (Quinlan), experience car trouble and find themselves stranded in the New Mexico desert.

The two catch a break when a passing truck driver (Walsh), offers to drive Amy to a nearby diner to call for a tow truck while Jeff stays with the car.

When no help arrives, Jeff manages to fix the car himself and makes his way to the diner. When he gets there he discovers his wife never made it, and when he tracks down the truck driver, he denies ever meeting the couple.

I absolutely loved this film! It’s a classic example of the kind of movies we used to get in the 90s: honest, easy to watch and highly enjoyable! It’s been a while since I watched such a tense thriller and it’s the most I’ve enjoyed a film for a while.

Kurt Russell is totally relatable as a normal guy who finds himself in an un-winnable situation, and J.T. Walsh who plays the film's antagonist did such a great job of making me hate him that I found myself shouting at the TV during a fight scene towards the end!

Sadly Walsh died of a heart attack just a year after the film's release aged 54.

In a lot of films, characters with no previous gun handling or fighting experience suddenly turn into military-trained martial artists as soon as things kick off. What I loved about this movie is how refreshingly believable Kurt Russell is as a desperate guy thrown into a desperate situation. It’s actually one of the best performances I’ve seen him give.

If you like a good suspensful thriller and movies like Duel (1971) and The Hitcher (1986), this is definitely one you should check out. I loved it!

Seen it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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