Breakdown ***1/2

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“Breakdown” plays on the fear that anyone could disappear at any time. What if you turned your back and a loved one was gone? Kurt Russell a husband stuck in such a scenario. It is a gripping thriller that becomes a hell of a chase once all the details come to light.

Russell plays Jeff Taylor. Jeff and his wife are driving across the country to take up new jobs that will hopefully help them get out of the financial hole they have found themselves in. When their car breaks down, a helpful trucker, played by the late J.T. Walsh, offers to give them a ride to the nearest diner so they can call a tow truck. Jeff says he will wait behind to watch their jeep. His wife heads off with the friendly trucker and never comes back.

This setups a scenario where the husband tries to piece together what happened in the face of desperation.

Director Jonathan Mostow and his screen writers take their time to let this story unfold in a way that feels almost frustrating. I mean that in a good we. We are meant to feel Jeff’s frustration as he attempts to wrap his head around someone vanishing in to thin air.

Eventually we do find out what happened to his wife and then the movie becomes a top notch chase picture that would make “The Road Warrior” proud.

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