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Breakdown Blu-ray Review

“Breakdown” holds up.

In 1997’s “Breakdown,” a husband (Jeff) and wife (Amy) are en route to their new home in San Diego. While passing through the desert, they get in a near accident with 2 unsavory and unfriendly men in a truck. The problems don’t stop there, however, when their jeep breaks down in the middle of nowhere. A seemingly friendly trucker stops to help and Amy decides to go with the trucker to call for a tow truck while Jeff stays with the keep. Eventually, Jeff discovers the source of the problem and gets the jeep running again. He makes his way to where his wife was headed but discovers she’s nowhere to be found. Worse still, he encounters the trucker who claims he’s never seen his wife. Is Jeff in some sort of Twilight Zone situation or is this part of some elaborate scheme? All is revealed in the end.

Directed and written by Jonathan Mostow alongside co-writer Sam Montgomery, “Breakdown” is a tight 93 minute mystery-thriller. The story is exceedingly simple and the movie wastes absolutely no time whatsoever which is what makes it so effective. It’s intense nearly the whole way through as you follow Jeff on this nightmarish journey to find his wife. Sure, it’s similar to other films such as “The Vanishing,” but that doesn’t diminish its impact. 

Another aspect that I found compelling looking back at the movie in 2021 was that it’s a CGI free movie with first rate practical stunts and car action sequences. The lengthy climactic car chase sequence is particularly riveting.

Cast wise, this is mostly Kurt Russell’s movie as we follow him the whole way through. He’s not playing the usual tough guy or comedic role here but simply a husband that is looking for his wife. There’s a vulnerability to his character that makes him feel more like an average man. J.T. Walsh (who was a fantastic character actor) turned in one of his final film roles here and he’s absolutely creepy in the part of Red. I don’t want to say too much to avoid spoilers in case you haven’t seen it. Kathleen Quinlan’s role may be limited, but she certainly does the most with her part. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? This crisp new transfer delivers the goods. The cinematography by Douglas Milsome and the location shooting really shines here.

Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? Expect an all-around effective 5.1 track.


Extras:
* A new “Filmmaker Focus” segment with director Jonathan Mostow.
* Digital copy
* Trailers for “Breakdown,” “Hard Rain,” and “Kiss The Girls.”
* Alternate opening with and without commentary by Jonathan Mostow.
* 2 new interviews with actress Kathleen Quinlan and producer Martha De Laurentiis.

September 21, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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