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Highwaymen Reviews

Reviewed By: Jason Buchanan

Existing on a sandy desert plane somewhere between The Hitcher and Breakdown, director Robert Harmon's on-the-road revenge flick isn't quite the steaming dog pile suggested by its extremely limited release (the film was initially relegated to a mere handful of Southwestern movie theaters), and even if some viewers may feel like they have been down this road before, Highwaymen does manage to offer a few memorable suspense sequences despite frequent lapses into clichéd territory. From the determined widower who won't stop until his wife's murder is avenged to the initially-hesitant-but-quickly-convinced psycho fodder with whom he eventually teams to take down the killer (and who just so happens to bear a more than passing resemblance to his beloved, deceased wife), Highwaymen almost seems to wear its rigid adherence to convention as a badge of honor -- a fact that makes the film go down something like the greasy fast-food hamburger we've eaten a million times before but still can't quite resist when pulling up to the drive-through window. Anyone familiar with the basic revenge formula will likely have this road trip mapped out right around the 15-minute mark, though given a relatively brief running time of 81 minutes, the journey is almost as brief as it is benign. If it never quite reaches the delirious, demented heights of Harmon's aforementioned C. Thomas Howell/Rutger Hauer nail-biter (or even director John Dahl's more recent Joyride for that matter), Highwaymen at least makes up for it's unavoidable shortcomings by rapidly accelerating from the starting line and never downshifting or glancing in the rear-view mirror.