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Film / Highwaymen

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Highwaymen is a 2004 thriller directed by Robert Harmon. It stars Jim Caviezel, Rhona Mitra, Frankie Faison, and Colm Feore.

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:

  • Ax-Crazy: Fargo is a sadistic Serial Killer who enjoys killing people with his car.
  • Car Fu: There's a lot of car action and various chase sequences. It is also the way Fargo murders people.
  • Crusading Widow: Cray is hunting down Fargo to avenge his wife, who Fargo had murdered right in front of him.
  • Cycle of Revenge: 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.
  • 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.
  • Eye Scream: Fargo lost the use of one of his eyes, which is part of the visual metaphor about his body being his car because it only has one working light.
  • 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. Cray then finishes him off by running him right into the same car that he t-boned all those years ago.
  • 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 apparently changes his mind and he and Molly seem to get together just before the end credits.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Cray mentions that Fargo is very good at making his killings look like random hit-and-run incidents, alluding to his former work in insurance.
  • Monster Misogyny: Fargo primarily targets women, whom he runs over with his car. Cray claims that he has evidence for at least nine murders committed by Fargo over the years, of which Cray's wife was only the fourth victim.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Fargo: [showing the place off to Molly] I got it at a good price. Insurance money.