Director: Robert Harmon
Psycho (Feore) kills dudeâ€™s (Caviezel) wife with his '72 Cadillac Eldorado. Five years later, dude is hunting psycho down in his souped-up Barracuda while doing his best Mad Max impression. Hot chick (Mitra) with ample melons ultimately gets into the mix which leads psycho and dude to face off with theirâ€¦CARS! HAVE A BLAST!
Being that Robert Harmon (the man behind one of my numero uno movies of all time: "The Hitcher") was going back to his â€śroad rageâ€ť roots, I was really looking forward to "Highwaymen". New Line Cinema was initially supposed to release the film in August of 2003. That never went down and it eventually hit the screens in February 2004 via a very limited theatrical release (a hundred screens or so). In that respect, I never got to see it. Well, thank Athena high above for her blessings, because this speedster finally crashed into my living room and I can safely say that I was one entertained little bastard.
"Highwaymen" established its simple premise early on and then let the hot cars, the enthralling auto chases, the mammoth automobile crashes and the vicious torture and killing via cars do the talking. From frame one, I was tossed into the junkyard world of this movie and Iâ€™m happy to report that I solely left when the last frame whiplashed my head into the dashboard. High props go out to director Harmon for, not only injecting many of his car stalk/chase scenes with high levels of tension and choreographical whoopaz, but for also painting his images in such a poetic and polished manner. The open road and its landscapes never looked so freaking stunning, and Harmonâ€™s knack at playing with slow and fast motion like a toddler with a new toy, gave many of the flickâ€™s sequences arresting power. Finally...somebody that understands that film is a visual medium! I adore it when events are communicated via images as opposed to dialogue. "Highwaymen" went heavy on that jive and I high-fived it for it!
On the dead side of the radiator, I had to suspend disbelief more than once to stay into this story. There were mucho silly contrivances/illogic happenings here, all in the name of action or speeding the plot forward. Donâ€™t think too hard about the way the intrigue unravels or you be foobarred! Speaking of plot, was that lamo â€śkiller childhood historyâ€ť motive really necessary? I didnâ€™t need it and it felt like a cop-out to me! And itâ€™s a damn shame that we didnâ€™t get more character development here, especially with the lead. I didnâ€™t know Renny or feel his pain and therefore didnâ€™t sympathize with him as much as I shouldâ€™ve. Lastly, there was one character in this flick that brought NOTHING to the whole and that was Traffic Investigator on the case Mackling (Faison). The character took away precious screen-time and made frustratingly dumb moves. How did this Traffic Investigator become a shotgun toting man of action anyways? Is that procedure? Shouldnâ€™t he be behind a desk somewhere pushing pencils and grabbing his secretaryâ€™s ass? I didnâ€™t buy it and found his presence quite worthless!
When all was said and road-killed, I got some easy entertainment out of this road warrior. It gave me enough bang for my bucks, sported decent acting and offered up a unique spin, in terms of its villainâ€™s nature. Was it shallow? Yup! Was it idiotic in the name of CRAZY car crash/kill scenes at times? Yup! Was it fun freaking times in a bottle of Jack Daniels broken over some rapistâ€™s headâ€¦YUP! Hot wire this baby, strap on your seatbelt, toss out your brain and enjoy the mayhem!
We get lots of innocent people being run over and mucho bloody car-induced injuries.
James Caviezel (Renny) didnâ€™t have much to do but look intense and disheveled...he did a great job at it! Colm Feore (Fargo) was creepy enough within his limited screen time. Rhona Mitra (Molly) brought humanity, titties and vulnerability to a â€śnothingâ€ť written part...good show! Frankie Faison (Macklin) was fine in his useless role.
T & A
We get Rhona Mitra showing us some yummyliscious cleavage and the ladies get Cazievel shirtless (bro needs to hit the gym).
Harmon was in top form here offering a visual feast of quick cuts, breathtaking scenery, ample atmospheric style and effective plays with fast/slow motion. Man, if only the screenplay wouldâ€™ve been up to snuff! This couldâ€™ve been a flick to be reckoned with!
The awesome score by Marc Isham injected much eeriness in the proceedings. It gave the polished images on hand even more impact. I want to own it!
With a smarter screenplay, a longer running time (only 72 minutes), more emphasis on its characters and more inclination on its emotional content, "Highwaymen" couldâ€™ve been a new â€śroad rageâ€ť classic a la "Duel" or "The Hitcher"! Having said that, thereâ€™s no denying that it was still an exceptionally well shot and highly pleasurable bonanza of motor vehicle nastiness. Much like that hooker on my block, this baby was dumb, but looked fantastic and knew how to please in terms of cheap strokes. In my opinion, "Highwaymen" shouldâ€™ve gotten a wider theatrical release. There have been (and continue to be) much worse flicks out there! Looking for straightforward kicks! "Highwaymen" run you over long time!
The film was shot in Toronto, Canada and in California, USA.
The screenwriters of this flick are Craig Mitchell ("Komodo") and Hans Bauer ("Anaconda").
Look out for Highwaymen on video and DVD on August 24, 2004
Thanks to Mad "Mathieu" Max for hooking me up for with this flick.