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Netflix’s new original film The Highwaymen has a lot going for it. It has a cool premise, some heavy-hitters in front of and behind the camera and the supportive structure of the streaming giant with seemingly bottomless pockets. Too bad it’s as dull as dishwater.
Story-wise it sounds like it should be great. It focuses on the other side of the Bonnie and Clyde story, following the aging ex-Texas Rangers who were brought in to hunt down the famous criminal duo. The idea of Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson playing the law that tracks and kills two of our most famous outlaws in what could ostensibly be a companion film to Warren Beatty‘s classic Bonnie and Clyde is a really cool one.
Costner - Harrelson - Ex-partners - Texas - Rangers
Costner and Harrelson play ex-partners in the Texas Rangers who reunite with a little something to prove to the young hotshot CIA kids with their gadgets and tricks as they track Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow all across the south. They also have something to prove to Governor Ma Ferguson (played with great energy and charm by Kathy Bates), the politician who disbanded the Texas Rangers citing their lawless old ways of things as a detriment to law enforcement, not a benefit. However, she’s forced to recruit these two when she finds the more stringent law in place in Texas is not quite up to the task of stopping the killer couple.
Bates’ Ma Ferguson is probably the strongest, most colorful and interesting character in the movie, but she’s only in a handful of scenes. The majority of the movie is squarely on the two old cowboys leading the hunt.
Part - Costner - Harrelson - Weight - Personality
For their part, Costner and Harrelson carry their weight. There’s just little to no personality to the film outside of their performances. From editing to shot selection to camera movement the thing...
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