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Check out this underrated 1997 action movie before it leaves Amazon Prime Video next week

A man holds on to the side of a truck in Breakdown.
Paramount Pictures

While there are plenty of movies on Amazon Prime Video that have justifiably earned their reputation as some of the best ever made, there’s also plenty of other stuff on the streaming service that can be a little bit more difficult to identify as worth watching. If you’ve already made your way through all of the platform’s most obvious titles, though, you might be looking for something a little more under the radar on Prime Video that’s worth your time.

Breakdown, which tells the story of a man who has to save his wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert, is one such movie, and it’s leaving Prime Video at the end of February. Before it leaves the platform, though, you’ve still got time to check it out. Here are three reasons why you definitely should.

Breakdown features a hugely compelling Kurt Russell performance

Breakdown 1997 - Official Movie Trailer

By 1997, when Breakdown was released, Kurt Russell was past the prime of his stardom. Even so, this movie proves definitively that Russell still had plenty in the tank.

Although it doesn’t make a ton of sense that this regular guy suddenly proves to be resourceful enough to take down the vicious kidnappers who have nabbed his wife, it’s nonetheless immensely satisfying to watch Russell’s devolution from a regular guy to someone who seems to be capable of almost anything. Few actors are better at pure action than Russell, and Breakdown is up there with his best work.

It knows exactly how long it needs to be

A man aims a gun in a room in Breakdown.
Paramount Pictures

Breakdown is one of the most underseen action movies of recent decades, but that doesn’t mean the movie is at all confused about what kind of film it is. This is a schlocky action movie that is elevated by sharp filmmaking and a great central performance, and it’s, therefore, just a touch over 90 minutes long.

Because the movie is so tight, everything that made the final cut feels propulsive, and by the time the movie’s over, you’ll experience the thrill that comes with its adrenaline-pumping finale.

It picked a great central setting

Kurt Russell with a bulletin board behind him in ‘Breakdown.’
Paramount Pictures

By setting itself in the expanse of the American West, Breakdown becomes something of a Western, following Russell’s character through a variety of desert locales.

More importantly, though, the film proves to be a great vehicle for seeing both how beautiful the American West is and how terrifying it might be to discover that your car had broken down in the middle of nowhere. The desert is beautiful, and Breakdown knows how to shoot it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also terrifying, and Breakdown conveys that part, too.

Breakdown is streaming on Amazon Prime Video until February 29.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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