At a motel off the main road, James Cray (Caviezel) witnessed his wife being run over by a mysterious driver. Convinced that it wasn't an accident, Cray pursues the traveler—a sinister Serial Killer known only as "Fargo" (Feore)—as he continues to claim more victims during his never-ending journey throughout the United States to avoid detection. When Cray saves one of Fargo's latest victims, Molly (Mitra), Fargo comes back to make sure Cray's effort is again in vain.
No relation to The Highwaymen.
This film provides examples of:
- Car Fu: There's a lot of car action and various chase sequences. It is also the way Fargo murders people.
- Evil Cripple: A serial killer named Fargo who runs women over with his car, including the protagonist's wife. The protagonist rammed into him with his car in revenge and the guy is barely able to move with several braces (neck, legs, etc) on his body. He remade his car into a super-durable weapon as an extension of himself and continued his murder spree.
- Handicapped Badass: Subverted with Fargo. He is a pretty Badass Driver, but his body is such a wreck that he really isn't much of a threat without his car.
- He Who Fights Monsters: When Cray saves Molly from Fargo the first time, Fargo offers another face to face meeting in exchange for the girl. When Cray takes him up on the offer, Fargo laughs and notes that Cray is becoming more like him the longer he's pursuing him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard/Laser-Guided Karma: In the climax, Fargo temporarily leaves his car to inspect Cray's totalled car. Molly uses the opportunity to get behind the wheel and run Fargo over with his own murder weapon.
- Inspector Javert: Detective Will Macklin, chasing after Cray. A Justified Trope because of the fact that Cray, in his quest to find Fargo, has become so much like him in actions that he is quite easy to confuse for the actual serial killer. Once he has some more evidence at hand he decides to help Cray instead.
- Last Minute Hookup: After Fargo's defeat, the protagonist initially considers leaving as his quest for revenge is over (Fargo previously murdered his wife). He and Molly seem to get together just before the end credits.
- Monster Misogyny: Fargo primarily targets women, whom he runs over with his car. Cray claims that he has evidence for at least nine murders commited by Fargo over the years.
- Revenge: A main theme of the film. Fargo's murder of Cray's wife started a long cycle of revenge between the two. Cray crippled Fargo in retaliation, but Fargo escaped the hospital to continue his murder spree elsewhere and constantly sends Cray photos of his victims to taunt him. He finally kidnaps Molly and returns to the motel where he originally killed Cray's wife to reenact the murder with Cray as a witness.
- Rescue Romance: It's implied that Cray and Molly ultimately get together after he rescues her from Fargo a second time. Fargo had already murdered Molly's best friend and her male suitor previously in the film, so it's not surprising that she'd look to Cray for comfort.
- Serial Killer: Fargo uses his customized car to go on a killing spree of women through vehicular homicide.
- Spiritual Successor: To Robert Harmon's earlier film The Hitcher. Both heavily feature car chases, pursuit along the highways, and a serial killer with a fixation on the male protagonist.
- The End... Or Is It?: The very final seconds of the film showcase that Fargo survived the crash that apparently finished him off, only for Detective Macklin to appear and blow his brains out with a shotgun.
- To Know Him, I Must Become Him: In the time between his wife's death and the beginning of the film, Cray had become a drifter, living in his car and listening to a police scanner for hit-and-run attacks that fit Fargo's profile (just like Fargo). He later provides a very detailed profile of Fargo to the police, and understandably the cops believe for a moment that he is the serial killer.
- Where It All Began: To spite Cray, Fargo kidnaps Molly and returns to the now abandoned motel (which Fargo bought in the intervening years) where he initially killed Cray's late wife to play the murder out again.