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Highwaymen (2004)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios)
Genres:
Psychological Thriller, Road Movie, Thriller
Director:
Robert Harmon Robert Harmon
Starring:
Jim Caviezel Jim Caviezel
Rhona Mitra Rhona Mitra
Frankie Faison Frankie Faison
Colm Feore Colm Feore
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie

5.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 27, 2004
Rennie Cray (James Caviezel) and his wife are staying at a motel in the middle of nowhere, and his wife decides to head across the street to buy some vegetables from one of those road-side stand deals. As she's heading back to the motel, a green 1972 Cadillac El Dorado comes out of nowhere and plows her down. Either two or five years later (depending on whether you believe the caption or the dialogue, though that's a minor detail), Rennie is tracking down the man who killed his wife, and who is also killing other young ladies in a similar fashion. Across town, Molly Poole (Rhona Mitra) is heading home with her friend Alex (Andrea Roth), when they come upon a tunnel. Alex sees a wheelchair in the middle of the road and swerves to miss it, and in the process causes an accident with the tractor-trailer that was driving behind her. Alex gets out to call for help, when the El Dorado pulls up to join the fun. He runs down Alex, and Molly almost gets killed while trying to help her. The police arrive on the scene, so the man in the Cadillac hauls ass out of there, leaving Molly alive. Rennie heard all of the information on the happenings over his CB-radio, and meets up with Molly the next day. He tells her all the information about James Fargo (Colm Feore), the man responsible for the murders, and also tells her that this is the first time he's messed up a kill, so he'll be sure to be hunting Molly down. Will Macklin (Frankie R. Faison) is a traffic investigator, and tries to interfere with the plans of Rennie, but some good avoiding works wonders in this case. Indeed, Rennie was correct, Fargo is coming after Molly, and we have a movie.

And we have a short movie, at that. The total running time on the DVD, not including the closing credits, clocked in at a meager one hour and ten minutes... very rare for a big-budget Hollywood film. However, this didn't hurt the film and things never felt rushed, so it's a good thing that they didn't try to pad things up as a fair number of movies tend to do. The storyline moves along nicely, dropping small bits of the story and history as things move along. We don't get the full story until the midway point of the movie, which definitely made things more interesting to watch. Most of the scenes in the film take place inside a car, and while that would seem like it'd get a bit boring after a while, things were kept interesting throughout by constantly throwing in surprises and genuinely shocking moments.

<Minor Spoilers>
The scene on the back-road when Rennie says that "something doesn't feel right" is a good example of that, as well as the way the ending is handled. They set it up so that it appears as though they're going to pull the old eighties-slasher "there's going to be a sequel!" ending, but things completely take a turn in the final moments of the movie. Good job, there.
<Minor Spoilers>

The cast throughout the film are decent enough, though nobody really comes across as being note-worthy. Everyone involved on the acting side of things gave an average performance, with nothing to bitch about from myself, but nothing really spectacular either. Colm Feore as Fargo does the best job in the acting department, but sadly enough, he gets very little time other than his driving scenes (which obviously involve zero dialogue or actor-shots). The action sequences, however, are another story. Instead of the usual hit-and-run scenes that we've grown accustomed to in modern films, we get some very original car-killing methods used here. The one that was spoiled by the trailer is by far the best of the movie, but the other ones are pretty nice themselves. With the exception of the opening scene, which was kept very basic and simple on purpose, we're treated to some nice setups and happenings throughout the film.

It's pretty sad how New Line handled this movie. It's almost as though they had something against it personally, with the way they yanked it out of theaters after a very brief run in very limited cities, then gave it zero promotion and threw it on a very bare DVD (no extras with the exception of the original trailer and three trailers for other films). This DVD was released this past Tuesday (08/24), and as a final spit in the face to the film, they allowed TNT, a basic cable channel, to run the movie tonight (Friday, 08/27); yes, three days after the DVD was released. That's quite the shame, as the movie is a good one and could have made them some decent money if they'd done something with it. Final rating from me would be an 8/10.
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