Looking at the takedown of Bonnie and Clyde

Christopher Gibson, Courier Staff

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This past Friday, Netflix released a new original film called “The Highwaymen,” starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, the film focuses on the deaths of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow from the viewpoint of the men that took them down.

Parker and Barrow were a pair of love-struck bank robbers back in the Great Depression era. The two would constantly be on the move with their crew, jumping from one state to the next, but never getting too far away from Texas. Texas was where they grew up and fell in love. With the Barrows living just a few houses down from the Parkers, the two seemed destined to be together. After Barrow got sent to jail for a robbery, Parker waited for him and once he got out of prison, she started joining Barrow on his crimes. The legend of Bonnie and Clyde was born.

Costner portrays Captain Frank Hamer who is an old Texas Ranger. Since the Rangers have been disbanded by Governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, Hamer has been quietly living life in retirement with his wife and pet pig. After a prison escape that involved three of Barrow’s old partners, Hamer is called upon to bring Parker and Barrow down. Hamer initially refuses, due to his wife saying no. However, as time goes on and more reports come out about the killings of Parker and Barrow, Hamer talks his wife into letting him take them down.

One of Hamer’s old partners from the Texas Rangers was Maney Gault, portrayed in the film by Harrelson. Gault now lives with his daughter and her family, without a job and drinks. One morning after breakfast, Gault walks his grandson to the bus stop where he hears that his grandson has heard about what he used to do for a living. Embarrassed and ashamed by what he’s done, he sends the boy on his way and walks back to the house. Hamer saw the scene play out and decided to drive away instead of asking for Gault’s help.

After Hamer goes and stocks up on weapons for the job, he finds Gault waiting by his car. Gault explains that he saw Hamer drive up to the house and saw him drive away. Gault pleads his case to Hamer to let him team up with him again and Hamer agrees. The rest of the film follows the pair on their attempt to at first capture Parker and Barrow, but ultimately the only way to catch the pair was to set a trap and kill them.

If you love historical films, then “The Highwaymen” is for you. The star-studded cast was what initially drew me in, but learning that the film was about Parker and Barrow that made me continue watching the film. I had seen a couple of different films about the two before, but this one was different. This one focused on the law aspect of their demise, not on them. The film also showed just how big they were during their crime spree, which I had not known before. “The Highwaymen” was pretty accurate in recreating the historical aspects of the day. I strongly encourage watching the film, but it is bloody so just keep that in mind. Overall, the film was true to the time period it was trying to represent and had a great storyline that you don’t want to miss watching.

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