Posts Tagged ‘Film Review’

Netflix’s latest original film telling the true story of the two ex Texas Rangers hired by the federal government to track down and capture the outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow is longwinded and mundane.

Starring Kevin Costner as Frank Hamer and Woody Harrelson as Maney Gault, the film centers around Costner as his character is pulled out of retirement by the government as Bonnie and Clyde continue to evade capture and continue to terrorize the public. It’s certainly Costner’s film as he plays the grizzled lawman who can’t turn away the offer of hunting down the nations most notorious criminals. Costner does well in this role of the aging law enforcement officer who can’t seem to let go of his past. He’s the right actor to play the part, even if the part was written to where he doesn’t get to do much with it. Costner is an excellent actor and can be charismatic when the part is right. Sadly he doesn’t get much of an opportunity to do it here.

Costner is teamed up with an even better actor in Woody Harrelson, even though Harrelson is a stand-in for three fourths of the film. It’s a shame that these two actors characters were so thinly written because a Costner-Harrelson team up in a film that is well written likely would earn Oscar buzz. Harrelson’s character is a down-on-his-luck ex lawman who can’t seem to find work when the only thing he ever knew was the law. Much of the film is Harrelson being in awe of Costner and only a handful of times do we actually see evidence that Harrelson’s Maney Gault is actually a force on his own. He’s written in a way that depicts him as a bumbling doofus that can’t seem to do right. Factually, that wasn’t the case and I wonder why the decision was made to depict the character in that way.

The film is over long stretching at two hours and 12 minutes. However, it’s impeccably shot with sweeping landscapes of the Midwest and the depiction of the early 1930’s.

If you’re looking to kill two hours watching two excellent actors scowl at the camera, “The Highwaymen” is your cup of tea. If you’re looking for a historically accurate film with great dialogue, sadly you’ll want to look elsewhere. The film is the rare miss for director John Lee Hancock who’s credits range from “The Blind Side” and “Saving Mr. Banks”, two Oscar nominated films with excellent dialogue to go with excellent acting.