Bonnie and Clyde are indelible American icons, popularized in every medium possible, from film to television and song to written page. All that was really missing was a Netflix adaptation. Well, scratch that off their checklist of to-dos. To their credit, Netflix is adding an original swerve to their version of the Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow tale, by telling the story of the lawmen pursuing them, Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson).
Half-assed internet research quickly reveals that the 100% historically accurate action depicted in the trailer might not hold water. In fact, it’s like Hamer, or Clyde, take your pick, shot the accuracy full of holes with a Tommy Gun. While you might come away from viewing the trailer believing that Bonnie was the world’s earliest proponent of shooting men in the face, there’s a case to be made that she never pulled the trigger at a police officer. Revisionist history? Perhaps. Artistic license? So what if it is.
In any event, giving Costner another round of Prohibition / Public Enemy Era crime-stopping goodness is a decisive move, and long overdue post-The Untouchables. It may have come a decade or so later than it should have, as Costner’s voice has the gravelly edge that Harrison Ford displayed with bittersweet flare in The Force Awakens.
There is a point where our old action heroes are going to be too old to deliver action with any semblance of believability. Have we reached this point? It’s hard to say. The gun is the great equalizer, allowing otherwise shambling gout sufferers the opportunity to level the playing field with much younger, sexier scumbag types. So, there you go America. Another advertising campaign glorifying firearm use both by criminals and those that are there to stop them. Doesn’t matter what side of the law you’re on, as long as you’ve got a gun to back it up!
The Highwaymen is set to premiere on March 10 at the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX. It will debut on Netflix March 29.