The Highwaymen (2019) – Review

After the FBI struggle to get the job done, two former, notorious Texas Rangers, Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson), are tasked with using their gut instinct and every bit of experience they possess, to track down and eventually stop the rain of terror being caused across America by the infamous outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde. A pretty steady Netflix tale which is based on a true story. It’s worth noting that this review was based solely on the movie I watched at the time and not the true story it was based off.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: John Lee Hannock
Writers: John Fusco
Starring: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson

On paper, The Highwaymen seemed like a movie that was going to interest me greatly, and while it did to an extent, sadly it didn’t seem to quite live up to the weighty expectations that I had set for it. From a story perspective, the film was incredibly gripping and realistic throughout, especially when you take into consideration the true story element, but if you’re heading into this one expecting a lot of action, spontaneous events and twists and turns, then you’re going to be left disappointed.

The storytelling in general was pretty slow, as were many of the scenes, but fortunately this managed to pave the way for an effective climax, which for me, was certainly the most notable moment of the entire flick. In terms of the cinematography and set design, different parts of Louisiana were captured beautifully, and the film had a truly authentic feel to it, which was especially important considering the fact that the movie was based in the early 1900’s.

A couple of other things worth mentioning would have to be the impressive script that was compiled. The filmmakers managed to keep the plot to a reasonably serious level when required, but also managed to inject some humour on occasion too. With that being said, when things needed to get serious, they certainly did. The two villains in the movie were rarely seen in their full glory – they had a unique air of mystery surrounding them and when the pair did strike, their actions were designed to be quick, sharp and devastating – and that they were.

Kevin Costner starred as Frank Hamer, the more senior and lead of the pair, while Woody Harrelson adopted the role of Maney Gault. Harrelson was sensational throughout and definitely stole the show, but Costner wasn’t too far behind either. Elsewhere, there were cameo appearances from the likes of Kathy Bates and John Carroll Lynch, who starred as Ma Ferguson and Lee Simmons respectively.

Ultimately, The Highwaymen ended up being a movie that I really, really wanted to come away from and say that I loved the experience, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. For sure, it had its good moments, and the ending was worked brilliantly, but overall, it didn’t quite reach the expectations I’d set for it.

“Manos arribas.”

Maney Gault – The Highwaymen

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