Breakdown (1997)

breakdownDirector: Jonathan Mostow

Writer: Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery (Screenplay) Jonathan Mostow (Story)

Starring: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C Gainey, Jack Noseworthy, Rex Linn


Plot: A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable Action Thriller


Story: Breakdown starts as we watch couple Jeff (Russell) and Amy Taylor (Quinlan) when they encounter car trouble and locals Earl (Gainey). When the car breaks down Amy goes off with a trucker Red Barr (Walsh) for help when Jeff fixes the problem. When Jeff gets to the location suggested his wife isn’t their he starts to panic searching for her but when he finds the truck the driver has no idea who he is.

We follow Jeff as he finds himself going up against Red Barr and his men including Earl as they have kidnapped Amy in what is their plan to commit a robbery against this Jeff but Jeff isn’t willing to go along with the rules.

Breakdown is an action film that does everything it needs to without taking any risks, it is almost the 101 on how to make an action film. The robbery side of the story works without being shown how smoothly it seems to have worked before. The everyday one man trying to get his wife back also works on a cinematic point of view but that one man is Kurt Russell. This doesn’t have enough on the story but for what it is really all we need.


Actor Review


Kurt Russell: Jeff Taylor is the successful husband travelling cross country when his car breaks down, letting his wife go off with a trucker he finds himself having to locate her. Jeff finds himself in the middle of a battle with thieves who have his wife and want to exchange her for their money. Jeff doesn’t back down and goes on a one-man mission to find his wife. Kurt is a great in the leading action man role which is what we expect from him.jeff

J.T. Walsh: Red Barr is the trucker who helped take Amy to what Jeff thought would be safety. He comes off as the ring leader in the plan staying calm throughout the situation. J.T makes for a good villain without being to menacing.

Kathleen Quinlan: Amy Taylor is the wife of Jeff who goes off with the trucker looking for rescue from the broken down car, she is basically the damsel in distress that we don’t get to see for most of the film. Kathleen really isn’t involved in the story enough as she is just kidnapped off screen.

M.C. Gainey: Earl is one of the men involved in the kidnapping of Jeff’s wife, he is the first one they clash with in a driving incident and always having to chase Jeff down. Earl is your typical second in command for the leader. M.C is good in a role that we know he can play with ease.

Support Cast: Breakdown only has your typical supporting cast which includes fellow criminals and law officers.

Director Review: Jonathan MostowJonathan gives us a enjoyable action thriller.


Action: Breakdown as good action sequences that all play into the story well without being over the top.

Crime: Breakdown puts our hero Jeff in the middle of a crime where he is the only one that can stop it.

Mystery: Breakdown makes us wonder what is happening before we learn about the groups plan.

Thriller: Breakdown does keep us on edge from start to finish.

Settings: Breakdown uses the open roads of America for setting showing how easy it would to become caught in the middle of it all.
Special Effects
: Breakdown has good effects with the car chases but that is all it is used for.

Suggestion: Breakdown is one for the action fans to enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: Over kill.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final chase


Believability: The idea is created to show it could happen but we know this is fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $36 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: No-one is safe from chance


Overall: Thriller ride of an action film


12 comments on “Breakdown (1997)

      • ERM The Fast and the Furious 6 on was freeview at the weekend! AND the entire repertoire of Back to the Future movies….for the millionth weekend running 🙂

      • true, but they are ones i would buy, i recorded a lot to watch later. also have you seen the rumours about a certain pop princess Justin Beiber being a young Bryan

      • I know, I’m only kidding 🙂 far better movies are on Sky, agreed!

        WHAT? Tell me you don’t mean Bryan from Fast and Furious….please tell me that…….

      • yeah Bryan from Fast and Furious, the story is they want to do a flashback scene and he is the one they want to use and i cried for about an hour when i read this, then got angry than planed to kill him then cried some more

      • Haha! I’m sorry but your reaction is priceless “then got angry then planned to kill him then cried some more” lol!

        It’s not good though. Mind you what if The Bieb is alright? He was okay in Zoolander 2! That was taking the mickey out of himself though….. I’m sure the powers that be will do right by the movies? Erm? I hope so…?

      • i think the fans don’t want to see Brian anymore, they retired him so well, his story is complete because any flashback will be the ‘weaker’ films rather than the new stronger films. i want it just to be Dom and Hobbs kicking ass, but Beib will bring a new audience to next trilogy

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