Terror hits the road
Directed by: Robert Harmon
Running Time: 80 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18
Road rage! If it can spell the end for Derek Wilton from Coronation Street, it can get any of us. Strictly speaking though, Highwaymen isnt about road rage its about cold, calculated, pre-meditated murder on the open roads of America. The twist? Well, the killers old legs arent what they used to be, so he uses his car as the weapon.
Whatever way you look at it, this if a daft film you can suss that out as early on as the very first scene, where Rennie (Jim Jesus Christ Caviezel) sees his missus about to be mowed down on the main road, but decides to mutedly run gawp-mouthed after her instead of just yelling something along the lines of get out of the bloody way!!.
Nonetheless, thats how the groundwork is laid for the hour or so that remains of this mercifully short film. Five years on from the accident, Rennies turned into a perma-stubbled Mad Max of the motorway, spending his days trailing the car-bound killer as he crashes his way through one pedestrian after another. Youd think a fairly obvious plan might be for our Ren to hand over the fairly clear-cut evidence hes gathered to the police but no, our hero has a cunning plan. Hes going to kidnap the madmans latest target (an easy-on-the-eye if not particularly convincing Rhona Mitra) and use her as bait in a game of car-and-mouse (see what I did there?).
Quite simply, the plot here doesnt work. Time after time Rennie and the killer simply find each other with no explanation as to how, and were joined on the ride by a pencil-pushing cop (Frankie Faison) who takes almost the whole movie to think of calling for a bit of back-up. Director Robert Harmon does his best to recreate the roadside terror of his 1986 classic The Hitcher, and in fairness he does manage to put together an end product thats interesting enough to hold the attention. But, in the end, theres just too much here thatll have you slumped back and raising an eyebrow when youre supposed to be perched quivering on the edge of your seat.
It's Got: Crashing and smashing.
It Needs: To wear its seatbelt.
A tale of motorway madness that wheely doesnt work (a bit like that last pun, come to think of it).