The gap between the haves and the have-nots in America is gigantic. And the animosity felt by those on the losing end is growing by leaps and bounds.

Breakdown is an adrenaline-pumping thriller that mines that bitter undercurrent in contemporary society. Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan play two Boston yuppies who are driving their new Jeep Grand Cherokee to San Diego where they are going to start a new life. Two nasty rednecks try to pick a fight with Russell at a gas station.

Later, when his vehicle breaks down on a desert road in Utah, the driver (J. T. Walsh) of an 18-wheeler arrives and volunteers to take Quinlan to get help while Russell looks after his most prized possession.

When he finally gets to the diner where he's supposed to meet his wife, the owner claims she's never been there. The drama shifts gears, turning into a kidnapping, ransom, chase-and-revenge tale. In his directorial debut, Jonathan Mostow has created a gripping, action-filled film that also comes across as a nifty morality play about the invidious dual evils of envy and showing off.