The Highwaymen

This film is a period crime thriller that tells us the chase saga of how famous Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault tracked down and successfully caught up with infamous notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde in 1930s.

Cast – Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickens, John Caroll Lynch

Director – John Lee Hancock

Plot

The plot opens to 1934 when Bonnie Parker and Clyde Marrow have been on the run for two years running amok with robberies and killings. Governor of Texas, Ma Ferguson and the law authorities are under pressure but unable to reign in their increasingly daring escapades.

More worrisome is their increasing popularity among the masses who have begun to idolise them.

Though Texas Rangers Division had been dissolved, Chief Lee Simons convinces the governor to deploy former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, renowned for his toughness, marksmanship and investigative skills.

Hamer (Costner) along with another fellow ex-ranger Maney (Harrelson) set out on this challenging pursuit.

Lack of support by FBI and being out of age, fitness or practise are no deterrents for these two. Armed with lots of fire arms, acute tracking and investigative skills, years of experience and guts of rangers they go on a merry chase along Dallas, Oklahoma, Kansas many a times missing the gang by a whisker before finally apprehending Bonny and Clyde in Louisiana and gunning them down.

Analysis

With a good straight forward narrative, the screenplay is very engaging. The taut chase, the clues, the near misses make it very gripping. The realism of the ageing rangers, their chutzpah, style and admirable skills makes it super interesting.

Costner and Harrelson put it a realistic, endearing and admirable portrayal. I found Kim Dickens very impressive in that little role of hers as Frank’s wife.

The end credits give us the real archive pictures of all the stake holders of the story and the real file clippings of the aftermath of the encounter.

Overall, it’s a very engrossing watch. Lovers of police chase dramas, period crime dramas must not miss this one.

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