“The Highwaymen”

Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are a crime fighting team worth watching in Netflix’s “The Highwaymen.”

Netflix’s newest original movie features two of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors as they track down the notorious killers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson form a watchable pair of law enforcers brought out of retirement in 1934 to end one of the most intense manhunts in American history in “The Highwaymen.”

Elusive bank robberies and violent shootings by Bonnie and Clyde are keenly captured between breaking radio and television news announcements. The headshaking, growing celebrity status the wanted duo gain after each crime spree is difficult to grasp until compared in context to OJ Simpson’s Ford Bronco police chase along southern California freeways lined by fans back in 1994.

Granted reinstatement of law enforcement powers by the Texas governor, Costner’s Frank Hamer character joins up with his past partner, Maney Gault (Harrelson), to methodically search hideaway locations and bait Bonnie and Clyde to reveal themselves.

The film’s historical plot offers a glimpse at the evil committed by the two fugitives, and how justice was ultimately served upon them. Despite a provocative story to tell, “The Highwaymen” delivers razor-thin background on Costner’s dark character and minimal suspense as the criminals’ track becomes fresh.

Easily the movie’s best ingredient is the relationship between Costner and Harrelson. Notwithstanding a marginal script, both stars make the most of their roles. The patriarch of the Dutton Ranch on television’s popular “Yellowstone” series, Costner can manage to say a lot with few words in “The Highwaymen.” Likewise, Harrelson’s rough side as a former Texas Ranger shines at critical times of the movie.

Thankfully, “The Highwaymen” is available to Netflix viewers. The film, while notable for historical reasons, isn’t worth the time and money to catch on the big-screen. It is, though, a solid Netflix choice for history buffs who’ll be left wanting to Google more about the hired guns that brought swift justice to a pair of most wanted killers. 

Grade: B-

“The Highwaymen” is a Netflix original movie rated R with a running time of 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the Reel Brief movie blog at reelbrief.com. Email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com.

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