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May 07, 1997 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-05-07

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Wednesday, May 7, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 15
Film suffers "Breakdown" under lethargic pacing, limp plot

ulia Shih
Dailv ArtsWiter

The new Kurt Russell thriller,
'Breakdown," is a prime example of
tow afilm can drag on endlessly before
inally breaking down after having
tothing worthwhile to say.
Russell plays Jeff Taylor, a man
who sets off on a cross-country trip
f Boston to San Diego with his
w e, Amy (Kathleen Quinlan).
somewhere in the rustic but desolate
xpanse of the Southwest, their car
breaks down, leaving the couple
tranded.
Fortunately, they are rescued by Red
J.T. Walsh), the driver of an 18-wheel-
r who offers to give Amy a ride to the
tearest truck stop to call for help while
eff waits with the car.
Less than an hour after Amy leaves
4 Red, Jeff is able to fix the car and
d e to the truck stop. But mysterious-
y, not only do the folks at the truck stop
:laim to have never seen Amy or Red,
>ut after tracking down Red, the driver
:laims to have never seen Jeff or his
wife.
With no one to turn to for help and so
ittle to go on, Jeff must embark on a
desperate search for his wife.
"Breakdown" starts off jumping
ifa claustrophobic feeling of dread
as the Taylors' car breaks down and
hey are separated. But 45 minutes
ater, the feeling of apprehension has
not dissipated and the impatient audi-
ence is still waiting for something to
happen. The pace of the movie is
maddeningly lethargic with large,
>oring gaps between scenes of any
nterest.
When Jeff begins to discover the
reabouts of his wife, the movie
ecomes a bit more interesting, but
the plot reveals itself as being
extremely shallow and limp. The sec-
ond half of "Breakdown" digresses
into a good-guy against bad-guy
shoot 'em up, which by the movie's
end proves little more than that the

makers of the film
have a sadistic
sense of humor.
The best thing
that can be said
a b o u t
"Breakdown" is
that cinematogra-

pher Doug
REVIEW Milsome does a
wonderful job of
Breakdown conveying Jeff's
feelings of des-
** peration and iso-
At Briarwood and showcase lation by empha-
sizing the vast

and empty desert in many of his
shots. The audience is further able to
relate to the man's growing sense of
uneasiness.
J.T. Walsh also gives a creepy per-
formance as a villain who could pos-
sibly be the devil himself. His haunt-
ing portrayal of a cold-blooded killer

and liar keeps this movie from being
completely unwatchable.
But the bottom line on
"Breakdown" is that it isn't a whole
lot of fun to watch. It is dry and point-
less, with a plot that has been seen
countless times before, and audiences
shouldn't bother with it.

77

been thefe.

Utbile others figbi fot br a tion rights.
l i'misists fort tiiprartfers t caioncentrate01 str efforts o t
preention and less painful alternatives.
If you npr action to rhetoric,
please castct us.
Question
A bortion

No one wants to have
an abortion, much less
a second one. But if
you had an abortion,
you are at an even
higher risk of experi-
encing the tragedy of
abortion again.

FEMINIStS1c)R LIFE
' it Sinai. t, A S suite 1Id0 .-\5isiitagiollDC25555 tsO)3 1-T!%1it sip a te.nti rta ntF fAatKA

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