A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
After escaping from a Huntsville prison, convict Butch Haynes and his partner Terry Pugh kidnap a young boy, Philip Perry, and flee across Texas. As they travel together, Butch and Philip discover common bonds and suffer the abuses of the outside "Perfect World." In pursuit is Texas Ranger "Red" Garnett and criminologist Sally Gerber. Written by
James Yu <email@example.com>
Early in the movie, references are made to President John F. Kennedy visiting Texas and the governor running for re-election. Unless the events in the movie take place in an alternate universe, this was not JFK's final, fateful trip to Texas. From 1876 to 1972 Texas governors served two year terms, which means this movie took place prior to the November 1962 election. JFK was assassinated in Dallas a year later in November 1963. See more »
When Butch is blocked by the police car in the alley he puts the car in reverse and rams the squad car without any damage to his own. In fact, throughout the whole ordeal with the two squad cars he manages to keep the car from being damaged at all. See more »
The idea is that an understanding of the particular behavioral case histories should, in parole situations, help the subject to avoid habitual traps and, in penal escape situations could, conversely, identify those self-same traps as an aid to apprehension.
Chief Red Garnett:
Let me tell you something, Miss Gerber.
Sally is fine.
Chief Red Garnett:
Let me tell you something, Sally. This is not a 'penal escape situation', this here happens to be a manhunt. And no talkin' in circles is gonna fix all that.
And what will?
Chief Red Garnett:
See more »
An intelligent and resourceful prison escapee named Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner) takes an eight-year-old boy (T.J. Lowther) hostage, as Haynes roams across Texas in the early 1960s. Meanwhile, the authorities, headed by a Texas Ranger (Clint Eastwood), set out to capture Haynes, in an Airstream trailer.
Costner does a fine job as Haynes, an interesting character who happens to like waltz music. Lowther is equally good in his role, a boy who comes from a family whose religious beliefs are quite strict. On their sojourn, the boy acquires, and sometimes wears, a Casper-the-friendly-ghost mask, a symbol of childhood innocence that contrasts nicely with the seriousness of a dangerous hostage situation.
The relationship between Haynes and the kid evolves into a kind of father-son union, wherein Haynes does most of the talking, and the kid reacts, usually with clever, nonverbal expressions. It's a good acting arrangement that plays up the strengths of both actors. It's the best element of the film.
Throughout their odyssey, a collection of oldies pop songs helps to capture the early 1960's era, though I could have wished that the volume had been turned up. Haynes' goal is Alaska, but he doesn't quite get there, and the film ends much more interestingly than it began.
The main problem with the film is the plot. It gets off to a hokey, contrived start. And, throughout the film, the law enforcement component does not work at all. It comes across as stereotyped, irritating, unnecessary, and it is not funny despite attempts to make it funny. You get the feeling you're watching reruns of "The Dukes Of Hazard", especially with that corny trailer.
Even so, the film is worth watching, for the acting accomplishments of Costner and Lowther, and for the interesting dialogue that takes place between their two characters.
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