by Samuel Rodriguez
The new Netflix movie release “The Highwaymen” is one that sets high expectations but cannot deliver.
The story revolves around two of the United States most infamous criminals: Bonnie and Clyde. However, the movie places a twist on the story as it focuses on the the two policemen that caught the criminals, Frank Hamer and Maney Gault.
Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) are former Texas Rangers hired to track Bonnie and Clyde and put an end to their rampage. The story focuses on the brotherhood between the two rangers and their journey in tracking the infamous criminals that leads to their capture.
The story takes place in the mid 1930’s and begins with Bonnie and Clyde breaking prisoners out of Eastham Prison Farm in Texas. In response, Texas Department of Corrections Chief Lee Simmons (John Carroll Lynch) convinces Governor Ferguson (Kathy Bates) to hire former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer to search for Bonnie and Clyde. Hamer comes out of retirement and is joined by former partner Maney Gault to work independently away from the FBI and track the notorious criminals.
The lack of respect for the ‘old timers’ becomes an apparent theme throughout the movie. The two rangers are seen as irrelevant and out of date, but still upset the modern policeman despite the opposition they were in. The climax of the movie is the inevitable death of the two criminals at the hands of the rangers and their group of men. This occurs as the rangers arrange an ambush and emerge from the bushes and gun down Bonnie and Clyde in their car.
The difficulty that was presented in tracking the criminals was a lack of support from the people. Anyone that the rangers would ask to help them would not help and saw Bonnie and Clyde as heroes and people that were doing good against the government. This prompted 20,000 people to attend Bonnie Parker’s funeral in Dallas, while Clyde Barrow’s service drew 15,000.
The Highwaymen is an interesting film that draws a different view on the historical Bonnie and Clyde manhunt. However, the story develops slowly and does not build as much anticipation from the audience and could have been better.