While this lacks the class and assured blend of genre traditions and subversion that marks Eastwood's best work, it is very entertaining. In some respects, the film looks formulaic: an escaped con (Costner) flees with a child hostage (Lowther), pursued by Texas Ranger Eastwood, criminologist Dern, a trigger-happy FBI sniper and assorted redneck assistants. To an extent, all goes predictably. Costner gets to like the kid, his essential goodness underlined by contrast with the psycho sadist who is briefly his fugitive partner, while Clint's conservative but well-meaning law enforcer discovers a measure of empathy with both the pragmatic Dern and his prey. Among the familiar stuff, however, there are very fine moments. It's just a pity that Costner never really comes alive. That said, the director manages mostly to avoid the enormous maudlin pitfalls of his material, at least until the over-extended final scene. As usual with Eastwood, little is overstated - and the accent is on humour.