BREAKDOWN. Paramount Pictures, 1997. Kurt Russell, J. T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C. Gainey, Jack Noseworthy, Rex Linn. Director: Jonathan Mostow.

   Movies have changed since this picture was made. I don’t pay much attention to new films, so if I’ve speaking from ignorance, you don’t need to tell me. What I think is happening is that new movies are either Marvel/DC/etc superhero pictures or what I’ll call agenda flicks. Yawn on both. Movies are meant to be fun to watch, ones like this one. Breakdown is its title, and there’s the short review, right there.

   Here’s a longer one, though. An attractive but rather brainless couple (when you think about it) are driving from Boston to San Diego, and once they hit the desert, they decide to take the scenic route. Two lanes of highway, one each way, straight through nothingness. You take the Interstates, and yes, it’s still nothingness, for miles on end, but you’re not alone. Your car breaks down, help is not far away. Alone in the desert, the friendly driver of an 18-wheeler (J. T. Walsh) offers you a lift, do you hop in? The wife does, the husband decides to stay with the car.

   The truck driver says he’ll take her to the next town – really only a truck stop and a bar – where he’ll leave her. When the husband gets there, no wife. No one’s seen her. A cop offers to help, but there’s no sign of her. What would you do, if this were to happen to you?

   An unfair question. The worst is yet to come. And that’s where the fun comes in. The action and the predicament the husband gets into is way over the top, ending with the 18-wheeler hanging off over a bridge, creaking precipitously with the wind. I suppose none of the story line makes any sense, if you start to think about it, but why put yourself to the effort?

   In any case, I’m glad Jon suggested we watch this after our 3000 mile ride from CA to CT together, not before.