Film Scouts Reviews


by Leslie Rigoulot

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If you liked "Hand That Rocks the Cradle", or "Eye for An Eye", you are gonna like "Breakdown". Playing on our darkest fears, it takes a simple car breakdown in the desert to the brink of disaster. Kurt Russell is the husband who waves good-bye to his wife, Kathleen Quinlan, when she gets into JT Walsh's semi when their Jeep breaks down. He begins to get worried when she isn't at the diner where they were supposed to meet. And he has good reason to worry. JT Walsh has only played the good guy once that I can recall, so the moral of the story is never get into a truck with JT Walsh. No, the moral of the story is that we are all unconnected and no one will even notice if we go missing.

The vast Southwest is the perfect backdrop for writer/director Jonathan Mostow's eerie story. All we know of the couple is that they are uprooted, as are so many of us. When confronted with a dangerous situation, they must rise it, as we all hope we would. There is nothing new, or original about the story but it is nonetheless entertaining. That is due in part to our desires to face our unnamed fears and in part due to the manipulation of those fears by legendary producer Dino DeLaurentis. The man knows how to manipulate an audience with just the right plot twists and just the right cast. Russell proves that men get better looking as they get older. JT Walsh is a treasure as always. He looks so ordinary, so believable and can turn menacing with the tip of a gimme cap. And the Jeep folks must have loved the mini-commercial touting the durability of their vehicle.

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