Breakdown

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Breakdown

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Breakdown

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Never mind the insipid, it-could-happen-to-you ad campaign: Who wants to plunk down cash to see a movie that says, "Your wife could be kidnapped and held for ransom by malevolent rednecks, prompting you to engage in a bloody game of cat and mouse"? If you forget about all that stuff, Breakdown is just a skillfully constructed, smartly conceived, escapist thriller that does just about everything right. For starters, Kurt Russell doesn't toss off action-hero taglines: He's an everyday yuppie with no special powers, and he does what he has to do without macho posturing or miraculous luck. Even better, Breakdown doesn't take 45 minutes to set up what the audience already knows going in; within 10 minutes, the movie has given you all the exposition you need. That leaves you with an action-engorged extravaganza full of surprisingly understated dramatic tension and expertly staged car chases.

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