The Highwaymen Review photo

“The Highwaymen” is a Netflix original movie released in 2019, directed by John Lee Hancock, and starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. The movie follows the classic story of Bonnie and Clyde but from the perspective of the detectives trying to capture them. It is an interesting perspective due to most media following the story from the eyes of Bonnie and Clyde. 

“The Highwaymen” is based on the real story where the government recruits the disbanded Texas Rangers who are known for their renown skills as manhunters. By doing this, the old-timers are being brought into a world of manhunting different from what they were used to. Instead of getting on horseback with a rifle or six-shooter, they must adapt to the hunt with cars and tommy guns. The movie does a great job of portraying to the audience the time difference for the main characters from when they were last Texas Rangers in the 1860s and then again in the 1930s. 

The movie has its fair share of action moments, but overall, the movie takes a passive route most of the time, showing the planning and sleuthing needed to pinpoint the location of Bonnie and Clyde to bring them to justice. The viewer is given moments of Bonnie and Clyde rolling up to police checkpoints to claim their next victim. This helped the story move along and gave the needed clues to end their road of destruction. The writers did a good job building up to the final shootout by keeping the gunfights to a minimum, but they might have been too conservative.

It felt like the movie was dragging its feet. It was mostly when there was no dialogue and only shots of them driving in the flat fields of the central U.S. Nothing against the exciting scenery of Texas or Oklahoma, but there was not much to look at in these scenes except for the sun and soybean fields.

Overall, “The Highwaymen” is a great film that gives the perspective of the detectives in the Bonnie and Clyde story with well-done story writing. The movie is not perfect but is still worth a watch.

Rating: 4/5