"The Legends who took down Bonnie and Clyde." This is the story of The Highwaymen. This period crime drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and written by John Fusco. The film follows the untold story of the legendary detectives who brought down Bonnie and Clyde. When the full force of the FBI and the latest forensic technology aren't enough to capture the nation's most notorious criminals, two former Texas Rangers must rely on their gut instincts and old school skills to get the job done.
Since 2005, the film had been in development hell for many years. Originally pitched by Fusco as a possible Paul Newman and Robert Redford project. Fusco spent time with Frank Hamer's son, Frank Jr, whilst writing the script. In 2013, the film began development at Universal Picture with Woody Harrelson and Liam Neeson set to star, but never came to fruition. In late June 2017, it was reported that Netflix was in negotiations to extricate the production from Universal Pictures. In mid February 2018, it was announced by Netflix had picked up the rights and that the film had entered production with Hancock as director, Harrelson and Kevin Costner to star in the lead roles. In addition, it was announced that Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Kim Dickens, Thomas Mann, and William Sadler had also joined the cast. At the same time, principal photography commenced, and wrapped in late March. Filming took place throughout Louisiana and in Newcastle, Texas, at the historical sites, with a budget of $49 million. The film was shot on the Panavision Millennium DXL cameras in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The strive for authenticity was so great that Hancock filmed Bonnie and Clyde's death scene at the actual spot where they were shot near Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
The film stars Costner, Harrelson, Bates, Carroll Lynch, Dickens, Mann and Sadler. Terrific performances were given by the cast, especially from Costner and Harrelson. Costner and Harrelson are excellent and thanks to them, the film is a consistently entertaining, thoughtful and high paced ride. The performances given by Costner and Harrelson were something else. For once actors playing Texas Rangers does not seem to base their performances on movies they have seen. They start cool. They play Hamer and Gault as the actual men.
Simon says The Highwaymen receives:
Also, see my review for Saving Mr. Banks.