The Highwaymen: Netflix Film Review

The premise for The Highwaymen seemed interesting, cool and refreshing; taking the famous Bonnie & Clyde story and telling it from the perspective of two retired Texas Rangers commissioned to track them down – but sadly, the film was slow and dull.

Kevin Costner plays retired Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who is approached to help top brass put an end to Clyde Barrow (Edward Bossert) and Bonnie Parker (Emily Brobst)’s stealing and killing spree across several states in the 1930s. He is eventually joined by former buddy Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) and they travel around Texas tracking the notorious duo down.

The idea of The Highwaymen sounded so intriguing to me. I knew nothing about the people who eventually killed the infamous criminals so I thought it would offer up an enlightening, fresh perspective and a completely new angle on the story, but it just turned out to be long, dull and slow.

We watch these two angry old men drive across Texas trying to find them and it is just bloated and unnecessarily long – there was no need for it to be two hours 15 minutes at all. I know that they struggled to catch them but so much time is given to dead ends and them just waiting around. Admittedly, there were some interesting moments – like when they stake out Clyde’s home – but you would expect it to be thrilling when they inevitably take them down but it was totally flat. It should have been a tense encounter but it was treated like it was an everyday occurrence so it was hard to care.

Bonnie and Clyde exist in the periphery of the story and are only properly seen a couple of times. This was fine I suppose, but I would have happily taken more of them. Other supporting stars included Kathy Bates as Texas governor, Miriam ‘Ma’ Ferguson, John Carroll Lynch as head of Texas prisons, Lee Simmons, and Thomas Mann as a local police officer, Ted Hinton.

The Highwaymen took an exciting idea and made it dull. What a shame.

In selected cinemas and on Netflix now

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