Breakdown Screen 4 articles

Breakdown

1997

Breakdown Poster
  • Begins as a roadside Deliverance, turns into a reverse home invasion movie, and then ends as pure battle of wills expressed though metal scraping against metal, smashing through concrete, bending under its own weight.

  • Humorless, admirably efficient B movie that probably looks more impressive now that 16 years have passed and making a lean/mean thriller with zero CGI and a thrifty aversion to backstory is anomalous enough to guarantee someone will hail the result as the last grasp of genre "craftsmanship..."

  • Mostow's project is not to ridicule or punish Jeff for his endangerment, but rather to cling intimately to his perspective as he pursues the rehabilitation of order in his now lopsided universe—as such, Breakdown is one of Hollywood's most skillful exercises in empathetic engagement.

  • Doesn't bother to "establish" anything—they're already on the road when the movie begins. 90 minutes later, the no-frills ending accommodates those sad people who always get up and go home the instant they can see that the plot has been resolved. In between, anything that doesn't actively move the story forward is ruthlessly discarded. Exceedingly difficult for such a stripped-down film to be "about" much of anything, but singleminded urgency can be its own, admittedly limited reward.

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