Director: Robert Harmon | 80 minutes | action, thriller, crime | Actors: James Caviezel, Rhona Mitra, Frankie Faison, Gordon Currie, Colm Feore, Paul Mota, Andrea Roth, Michael Stevens, Noam Jenkins, Toby Proctor, James Kee, Guylaine St-Onge, Joe Pingue, Martin Roach, Ron Bell, Paul Rutledge, Kelly Jones, Bryan Renfro
Should you run into director Mark Harmon on the highway, make sure you give him right of way. The best man has a rather disturbing image of motorists. At least, you would think that when you look at his oeuvre. In 1986 he portrayed in cult classic “The Hitcher”, hitchhikers as unhinged psychopaths and in 2003, wrinkled civilian men are pure evil. Where Harmon gets his inspiration from is a mystery, but in any case it produces remarkable thrillers.
In “Highwaymen”, a British beauty, played by Rhona Mithra, gets into trouble with a bitter motorist. The man in question wants to kill her. When Molly looks death in the headlights, she is rescued by the taciturn Rennie (Caviezel). The young woman discovers that her rescuer has given up half his life to kill her assailant. Rennie and the runaway motorist have a past together. A destructive history that only ends when one of the two men is dead.
At first glance, “Highwaymen” looks like a blatant clone of “The Hitcher”. This film is also about carchases, innocent main characters and intensely bad psychopaths. For character building, logic and intellectual stimulation, you shouldn’t watch these movies. However, if you fancy knot-hard collisions, flying car parts and mean villains then Harmon is the right place for you. Unfortunately, “Highwayman” is a bit tedious, despite its very compact playing time. The character building is the cause of this.
With James Caviezel you have a very strong actor at home. Harmon realized this too and that is why he gave the actor a lot of space to show his skills. Caviezel is well on track and creates a full-fledged character. Very clever when you consider what limited material the man had to work with. However, the main role of the film is for Mithra and she has the least talent of the entire cast. With her model looks, it is nice to look at the actress, but in terms of acting it is not spectacular what you get to see. Feore is then again enjoyable in his fat villain role. In terms of acting, “Highwayman” is a strange mixed bag. Caviezel’s depressive role is far too heavy for this nihilistic thriller. Also, too much attention is paid to the feelings of the poorly developed characters. The speed of the film drops regularly.
“Highwaymen” is a fun thriller, but with some flaws. The acting is not well coordinated and the countless plot holes and illogical twists are sloppy. Still, Harmon’s movie is very enjoyable. Visually, “Highwaymen” may be. The relatively original premise of a dangerous road pirate also deserves plus points. Not a film to tear to the video store for, but this B-film certainly does not belong in the pulp warning triangle.