Jay Wagner is framed by the mob and sent to prison in Mexico. His wife, Ann tries to get him out. She then turns to bush pilot Nick Colton for help. And Colton is all to eager to do it. But the men who framed Jay will do what they have to make sure he doesn't escape.Written by
Jay Wagner (Robert Duvall) is convicted of a murder he didn't commit because his evil father-in-law (John Huston) wants him out of the way. His wife Ann (Jill Ireland) decides to try and get him out by going to the tough Nick Colton (Charles Bronson). Nick agrees to take the job and must find a way to break into a Mexican prison and get the husband out.
BREAKOUT sounds like an exciting and fun movie but sadly it's pretty flawed and the end result isn't nearly as good as one would have hoped. It's really too bad because you've got a story that was based on a true story and you've got a terrific cast yet the screenplay is somewhat all over the place and even worse is the direction by Tom Gries as it is pretty laid back and there's really not too much style on display.
What keeps the film slightly entertaining are the actors. This here is a rather interesting role for Bronson because he's playing the typical tough guy that his fans love but there's another side to this character as he's really a happy-go-lucky type of person. There are countless scenes throughout the movie where Bronson is smiling and having a good time, which is something we don't usually get to see the actor do. I actually thought it was a fine performance and yes it was interesting and fun getting to see him smile.
The supporting players have some very recognizable names starting off with Duvall. The screenplay really doesn't do too much with his character because most of the time when we see him he's either in a hospital bed or attacking Ireland. As far as Ireland goes, she too is better than normal here as she does a nice job playing the concerned wife. It was fun seeing Huston in his small role, although, once again, the screenplay really doesn't do much for his character. You've also got Randy Quaid and Sheree North adding some entertainment value.
The film's biggest handicap other than the screenplay is the fact that it's just not all that intense. The film takes a good forty-minutes or so to get started and then from here you're basically entertained because of the cast but there's just not enough action, thrills or adventure here. The most memorable thing about the picture happens towards the end when one man meets a plane in a way you wouldn't want to.
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