The Highwaymen offers a new perspective on the story of Bonnie and Clyde


Many people are familiar with the story of Bonnie and Clyde, the story of two American criminals who traveled around the United States killing, robbing, and constantly escaping the consequences.

However, many people are not familiar with the story of the men who ended the Bonnie and Clyde ride of crime: the Highwaymen. When no one could catch the criminals, it was two former Texas Rangers that could, and it is the story of their chase that piqued my interest in the new Netflix release, The Highwaymen.

The film, based in the Great Depression era, opens up with a scene of the infamous criminals breaking out several prisoners from a prison farm in Texas, another crime the law has failed to catch them for. With the failure of the current law enforcement, the Texas Department of Correction Chief persuades the governor into hiring the former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) to track down Bonnie and Clyde.

After eventually accepting the task, Hamer sets out on the road. But before beginning his chase, his former partner, Benjamin Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson), joins Hamer to help with the task at hand. The two set out on the highway, hence their new title of being Highwaymen. With files at hand and their keen sense of crime, Hamer and Gault follow the tracks of Bonnie and Clyde.

The movie then takes off as the chase continues. With continuous murders happening throughout their journey and the FBI pressuring them to back off of the case, the two highwaymen find themselves enduring a whole journey of hardships.

The story that the film was based on was what first enraptured me, but the path the movie followed is what continuously held my attention, keeping me enthralled with every scene. The true story was full of suspense, seasoned with action, and put together with all the key factors that go into a genuinely good story.

I was immediately pulled into the movie, and from the beginning of the chase to the very end, I remained in 1934, following Bonnie and Clyde with the highwaymen. The production did an excellent job of bringing the true story to life through the screen.

Considering the true basis of the story and the serious tone the movie holds, the acting played an important role in the overall outcome of the film. The actors were tasked with displaying real people and believably portraying the intense hunt for Bonnie and Clyde, and that is exactly what was done.

It is a different, fresh look at an old story, portraying history in an enthralling way.

Hamer is built upon a series of hardcore and serious traits, and he is not a man to be messed with. Not only was Costner able to hold these traits through scenes, but he was able to conduct his acting in a way that allured me further into the story. Through the way Costner built his character up as a fighter but also added in the light sarcasm any tough man would possess, Frank Hamer was made to be an admirable and likable character.

Harrelson’s Gault had more of a light-hearted personality with a lower sense of toughness, although it was still blatantly present, and a higher sense of emotion and opinion. Harrelson played his role very well and created a character I quickly became fond of. He and Costner played characters with relation to each other that could’ve built up the movie, or brought it down, and their ability to connect and create chemistry on screen most definitely brought the quality of the movie up.

The Highwaymen displays little details of the past, such as cars and town aspects, that assist the plot and create the setting I would imagine the true story to be in. It tells a story not from the view of Bonnie and Clyde but from the view of those chasing them. It is a different, fresh look at an old story, portraying history in an enthralling way.

Of course, there is always going to be the differing opinions of a true-story based movie, but in my outlook, the production was excellent. I enjoyed watching, and I found the altered point of view to be an interesting concept that kept me involved. It’s portrayed through old times, but it still brings in aspects of the new times: it’s a tasteful mixture.

After the two hours and twelve minutes I spent watching The Highwaymen, I was left not regretting a second.