The Highwaymen

Director: John Lee Hancock

Starring: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates 

Release Date: March 10th 2019

There was a time when Netflix had finally found its place from an original-content point of view. That was early 2018. The Walmart of streaming services had discovered a formula to make a stellar original film. Netflix was atop the teen comedy-drama scene. The release of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before gave Netflix the heavyweight belt for teen dramedies. But it wasn’t just this film. From 2017-18, Netflix released a number of similar movies, such as the soon-to-be cult classics, The Kissing Booth and When We First Met.

Since then, Netflix has been swinging for the fences, with movies with real celebrities, including Jake Gyllenhaal’s Velvet Buzzsaw and the Coen Brothers’ Ballard Of Buster Scruggs, two movies that the WAL team looked at. One was “Worth A Look” and one fell into our “Shitty Movies” category. I’ll let you decide which was which. Hint: Did the creators of Fargo make a shitty movie?! Highly unlikely.

The Highwaymen premiered at the Paramount Theatre in Austin during South by Southwest. Following a limited theatrical release, Netflix began streaming John Lee Hancock’s crime movie on March 29.The film follows two Texas Rangers, Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) as best one-two Rangers duo since Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton.

Hamer and Gault are on the chase, traveling throughout the state trying to find the notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde, a couple so toxic it would make the Kardashians and any *insert 6-foot-10 backup power forward* look like Romeo and Juliet. The story of Bonnie and Cylde has been well-documented over the years, but rarely through the lenses of the police. The idea is definitely an intriguing one. Unfortunately the movie fails to keep its audience engaged. Harrelson and Costner never seem to be a natural fit together on screen. The two stars also fall into to many buddy cop clichés. Between this and the slow pace you aren’t missing much.

Director John lee Hancock isn’t a household name. But he is still a name, best known for The Blindside, a movie we’ve seen 100 times for some reason. While The Blindside isn’t awful, it sure is vanilla. Much like The Blindside, The Highwaymen has an interesting story. The only issue is the mood and feel of the film. The Highwaymen feels more like a TNT drama show than a movie starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner.

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