Writer: John Fusco (Screenplay)
Starring: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kim Dickens, Emily Brobst, Kathy Bates, W Earl Brown, John Carroll Lynch
Plot: A pair of police officers come out of retirement to catch the infamous outlaws Bonnie & Clyde.
Tagline – This March, there are no High Roads.
Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Nice Crime Hunt
Story: The Highwaymen starts with Bonnie and Clyde’s spree going on for two-years, Governor Ferguson (Bates) is running out of options as the two have become celebrities because of their action. Facing little options Lee Simmons suggests turning to two former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer (Costner) and Maney Gault (Harrelson) to track down and end the spree.
With Frank having no other choice after more law enforcement officers are killed, he turns to Maney who has been struggling in the afterlife of being a ranger, he has different beliefs to Frank, which will see them needing to figure out how to eliminate the threat with the honour they are used to acting in, can they stop the murderous pair and their gang.
Thoughts on The Highwaymen
Characters – Frank Hamer is a legendary Texas Ranger, force into retirement with new laws in place, but landing on his feet, he gets turned to for help hunt down Bonnie & Clyde, he must accept that he would be going against what he used to do, return to killing, but most importantly turn to a former partner. Maney Gault is one of the best partners that Frank hand, the force retirement was harder on him with drink being he solution, he is the last resort on skill level, but the first one Frank turns too, he does have standards on how he beliefs on how he handles killing, only once shot upon, he becomes a kind of mentor for a young officer on the hunt. Ma Ferguson is the governor that recruits Frank and Maney to hunt down Bonnie & Clyde, she is reluctant at first wanting to follow more legal causes. Lee Simmons is the one suggesting that the Texan Rangers to help capture them, he puts his neck on the line for it.
Performances – Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are two of the best actors in the business, they can play any of these law men with ease and they make each their own with ease. The two are front and centre for most of the film, the supporting cast are solid enough without struggling.
Story – The story follows the two Texas Rangers that hunted down Bonnie & Clyde who were on the killing spree over. The highlight of the story comes from following the law enforcement instead of the criminals, we should do this more often with the people that hunt down the criminals and not make the criminals to idols of the story. this is mostly just the two reflecting on their careers, what they did before retirement, what they might need to do once they catch up to the criminals. It does pace well enough, we don’t over focus on the crimes, only the reaction to them.
Crime/Mystery – The crime side of the film is the hunting down of Bonnie & Clyde, we see how the Texas Rangers track down the criminals. The mystery in the film comes from just how the hunting down was being done.
Settings – Each setting takes us around the open roads in the American where the criminals would have been operating in.
Final Thoughts – Interesting look at one of the biggest take downs of criminals in American history, we have strong leading performances and don’t focus on the criminals.
Overall: Smart way to study a big case.