Outlaws Bonnie & Clyde are roaming from city to city, taking the lives of any person who crosses their path. Day by day, their fame in the media also increases, and they become celebrity-like figures. After many attempts by the police to capture the pair, the law gets desperate and will try anything. A retired Texas Ranger, Frank, is approached and hired to do whatever it takes to kill Bonnie & Clyde once and for all-kill, not capture. Frank (Kevin Costner) picks up another Texas Ranger, Maney (Woody Harrelson), whom he used to partner with back in the day. Frank and Maney will travel from town to town looking for clues, trying to find those who may know Bonnie & Clyde’s next move.
As a story, I feel this is an excellent plot to put on the big screen. When the police fail to capture and kill, the world has no choice but to recruit the men with experience in both investigations and survival. I loved the setup of this film. Straight away, this film highlighted the lead characters’ skills and qualifications earned from their past.
While at 1st glance I loved the casting here and the film’s introduction, sadly our leads don’t have much chemistry on screen. This was disappointing, considering how much both actors Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are in the film. Our two leads play characters who have worked together for many years, but given what they display in this film, I struggled to believe in this “strong friendship”. Both men appear to be more cranky and over it rather than supportive with one another or a strong partnership.
As far as the pace goes, The Highwaymen does unfortunately drag from time to time. There are many moments which don’t affect the story, and I’m surprised certain scenes were left in the final cut. Our leads also go back and forth between the same characters or cities, which makes the film feel like it’s never getting close to the end. I’ll be honest- I did check the film’s remaining runtime twice and was surprised how much duration I had left considering what I had already seen.
The ending is also predictable (even if you don’t know the real history of the actual outcome). But before the film lets us get to what we know is around the corner, we are given character monologues, which again, don’t serve any purpose, nor are suitable for developing characters or moments. I’m not entirely negative about the story or the cast, and it’s just there some elements that are either “too little” or “too much”, stopping the film from being filled with more heart and a gripping result.
Visuals for Netflix’s newest film are incredible, and I couldn’t fault it. Those who own 4K panels with HDR technology will be rather impressed with visuals in particular to landscape shots.
Overall, this is easily one of the better films currently showing on Netflix. The result can feel unpolished as the film’s duration can drag on and our leads, unfortunately, don’t always have any major chemistry together. These are just some of the missing ingredients which could have made this a more gripping or solid film.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden