Crash for crash test dummies, Highwaymen is a high-octane horror thriller that never gets round to easing its brain out of first gear. A slasher movie about a disabled hit-and-run driver (Colm Feore) who uses his customized 1972 Cadillac Eldorado to kill his victims, it sounds like a sick joke but sadly it's all too serious. Pursuing the automobile maniac across America is Rennie (Jim Caviezel), a haunted man in a souped up 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, who's devoted his life to stopping this death race.
Director Robert Harmon (The Hitcher) certainly knows a thing or two about the horror of the highway, but this wacky race is so ludicrous it's a wonder Dick Dastardly and Muttley don't make cameo appearances (presumably they had better things to do with their time). Following Rennie as he tracks the wheelchair-bound killer, with the help of Molly (Rhona Mitra) and the interfering efforts of traffic investigator Macklin (Frankie Faison), Highwaymen puts the pedal to the metal and va-va-vrooms off into absolute stupidity.
"His body is his car. Stop his car, stop him" intones Rennie, as the psycho runs wild in his battered Caddy. Customized so that he can get his wheelchair behind the driver's seat and use his prosthetic arm and metal braces to change gear, the vehicle leaves him looking more like Dalek leader Davros than the scary villain he's supposed to be. Apparently it's the perfect killing machine ("He leaves no fingerprints, no DNA, and drives off in the murder weapon"), though in reality it's little more than a clapped-out wreck.
"A FIVE-LANE PILEUP ON THE FREEWAY TO HELL"
Faced with such nonsense, you can understand why Cavaziel phones in his performance (a long distance call with the charges reversed), and while Mitra does a good job of looking suitably horrified - whether that's acting, or just her realisation that she very desperately needs a new agent, is debatable. As car wrecks go, Highwaymen is a five-lane pileup on the freeway to hell.