Jeff (Russell) sets of cross country from Boston to San Diego with his wife Amy (Quinlan) to leave his troubles behind to start afresh. The scenic route through the fantastic desert spaces of the American Southwest offers not only beauty but isolation. And danger he never dreamt about. Following a near-miss with a truck, the 4WD breaks down on a deserted road, but for an 18-wheel truck that appears on the horizon. The driver, Red (Walsh), offers them a ride to a nearby truckstop diner, but Jeff stays with the car. Fidgety, he discovers the cause of his breakdown: loose wires. Fixed, he drives to the truckstop diner, where his wife has not been seen. So the locals say. Now agitated, Jeff hits the road in search of the trucker who took his wife, but when he finds the rig, Red denies ever having seen either of them.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Talented fella, this Mostow, having written the script and directed it, he also had a hand in the lyrics for This Game of Love, one of the many excellent tracks on the soundtrack, many produced (and some co-written) by Jeff Pecetto, another talented fella. All in all, a talent laden film, with the best kind of Hollywood expertise. (Mostow, incidentally, began his filmmaking career while at Harvard, with a number of award winning shorts and documentaries.)
Mostow wanted "everything in this movie to feel real and truthful," and he succeeds; he also succeeds with the decision to shoot it anamorphic (wide-screen) to give it a classic look, straightforward and un-stylised.
Let the action propel the audience, and it does. From the wellspring of a well honed script, Mostow fashions a gripping thriller with plenty of suspense, tons of character-based emotion-pushing and great music to drive it along.
Combining physical and psychological suspense, Breakdown is highly satisfying entertainment - and the perfect film if you are about to set off across Australia in a 4WD thinking you're well prepared
Published July 8, 2004
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BREAKDOWN: DVD (M)
CAST: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C. Gainey, Jack Noseworthy, Rex Linn, Ritch Brinkley, Moira Harris
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Mostow
SCRIPT: Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery (story by Mostow)
RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen; English subtitles for the hearing-impaired
SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical trailer;
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
DVD RELEASE: July 8, 2004