The Highwaymen Review
March 31, 2019 at 4:04am
This Netflix Original film comes across as somewhat of a historic correction to the heavily romanticized Bonnie & Clyde story. This tale follows the perspective of two retired Texas Rangers, both having come back into the fold in order to deal with this legendary couple. It's a slow burn, a very slow one indeed. You get to watch Frank (Kevin Costner) and Maney (Woody Harrelson) use their gut instincts to do what the modern technology at the time couldn't.
It was with this journey that they were able to find the deadly duo, and deal with them. I will mention that the movie Bonnie & Clyde (1967) is a simply stunning film, and a good one to watch prior to this if possible. They work almost too well together in terms of showing perspectives and just how romanticized one film is over the other. This one is purely from the perspective of the two lawmen as they try to track this group down. There are moments of misery as well when you get to see the dirty killings Bonnie & Clyde were performing from the group following them.
There are some action packed segments, but for the most part this is a very slow experience. They really took their time building up the characters' chase, the finale itself was a few second setup and perhaps less impactful than it was in the '67 film of the another perspective. I'm not trying to directly compare the two, but they do work together very well to showcase multiple perspectives with the older film perhaps being very distorted in the portrayal of two murderous individuals.
This is a beautifully shot film, each moment was a treat. It was very authentic to the times, and there were just a ton of locations that were visited. Gorgeous open landscapes, swamps and old style towns. It all looked fantastic, and it came down to mostly just being two guys chatting the whole time. I found the two actors to be excellent, they were grizzled and great. It was just a boring journey, that seemed to meander a lot.
There were so many pointless moments, it could have been streamlined for better pacing. They really tried to capture every little moment these two would have had along the way assuming it's focused on being historically correct in presentation. There was a sense of brutality in many situations, those were good. These great aspects are just so unbalanced by the long drawn out segments that don't lead anywhere. Not in the sense of frustration for the two, but just another hurdle in their slow tracking process.
The Highwaymen is a boring film that follows the law trackers that hunted down Bonnie & Clyde. It takes far too long to get to the point with many unnecessary moments. There was no urgency in it, and despite having memorable moments this one will be something I try to compress. I won't want to forget the key points where they deliver, but mostly try to lapse over the many overly long segments that never seemed to end. The acting was solid, but it was mostly two guys just chatting for a couple hours.
The ending was the strongest portion of this, whereas the start is weak. It takes forever to get going, and there's just too much of nothing that goes on here. I couldn't stand how slow some segments were, and by the end I still don't think the leads were very well developed as individuals. They showed the darkness of Bonnie & Clyde well, but I felt there could have been more of a focus on the craze surrounding them. They really tip-toed and showed as little as possible of the two.
The Highwaymen Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Rating Overall: 5.0