Breakdown: Kurt Russell Thriller Hits Blu-ray

Breakdown. Courtesy of Paramount.

Breakdown, the 1997 thriller starring Kurt Russell, is the newest film to join the collectible Paramount Presents releases on Blu-ray.

The film is a simple thriller and with the truck’s presence in the film, it will sometimes remind you of an early Steven Spielberg TV movie, Duel. Jeff (Kurt Russell) and Amy Taylor (Kathleen Quinlan) are moving to San Diego when their new Jeep Grand Cherokee breaks down. A trucker, Red Barr (J.T. Walsh), pulls over and offers them a lift to a nearby diner. Initially, they decline but Amy decides to take them up on the offer. Not long afterwards, Jeff notices that the battery connections had been tampered with so he fixes it and makes his way towards the diner. This is where everything begins to go south. Nobody has seen Amy or the trucker. Jeff later spots Red’s truck and gets him to pull over. Red plays dumb but a sheriff intervenes and offers his help with finding Amy.

There’s no shortage of interesting tidbits during some of the new bonus features presented on the Blu-ray. The film’s original roots go back to Stephen King in that they were going to adapt Trucks. This film also doesn’t happen without the producers agreeing to allow Kurt Russell to sleep in his own bed at night. Every morning, he would be picked up at 8 AM, flown to wherever they were shooting that day, and then flown back at night. It’s not the way that many filmmakers would shoot a film but this was the only way that Russell would do the film. He and Goldie Hawn would alternate when it came to working on movies. Dino De Laurentiis did whatever he could to make sure they did the film with Kurt Russell. This film wouldn’t work without him so it’s for the best that they reached an agreement.

Breakdown is a 90s thriller through and through. The decade marked quite the change in how movies were being made–action films were effects-heavy and action-heavy for one. To watch Breakdown years later, it’s a reminder that films are not made in the same way. There are a number of action scenes but nothing like what would soon be par for the genre. Director/co-writer Jonathan Mostow supervises a 4K remaster and the picture has never been better. The tension and suspense works just as well at home as it does on the big screen. Trust me, you’ll be on the edge of your seat!

Bonus Features

  • Commentary by director Jonathan Mostow and Kurt Russell—NEW!
  • Filmmaker Focus: Director Jonathan Mostow on Breakdown—NEW!
  • Victory Is Hers – Kathleen Quinlan on Breakdown—NEW!
  • A Brilliant Partnership – Martha De Laurentiis on Breakdown—NEW!
  • Alternate Opening—NEW!
  • Alternate Opening with commentary by director Jonathan Mostow—NEW!
  • Isolated Score—NEW!
  • Theatrical Trailers
    • Breakdown
    • Kiss the Girls
    • Hard Rain

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Mostow
SCREENWRITERS: Jonathan Mostow and Sam Montgomery
CAST: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan

Paramount released Breakdown in theaters on May 2, 1997.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.