Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Robert Harmon|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In 1986 director Robert Harmon made his feature film debut with the cult classic The Hitcher. Starring Rutger Hauer and C Thomas Howell, The Hitcher was an uncompromising action thriller that set the standard for the genre, and for this reviewer it remains unsurpassed. So it was with great anticipation that I awaited the release of Highwaymen, which on paper appeared to be of similar stock to Rutger's brutal cross country odyssey of yesteryear.
Jim Caviezel plays Rennie Cray, a man set on revenge. Several years ago his wife was the victim of a deliberate hit and run accident in which she lost her life. Now Rennie spends his every waking moment hunting down the man responsible. The man in question is James Fargo, a vehicle owner's worst nightmare - an out-of-control maniac who derives pleasure from killing fellow motorists. Rennie must now seek the help of a mysterious woman (Rhona Mitra), the sole survivor of Fargo's latest atrocity, to assist him in ending the sadistic killer's reign of terror.
Highwaymen, although passable as entertainment, never comes close to capturing the mood or intensity of Harmon's brilliant Hitcher, which twenty years on still sets the benchmark in open road terror. What Highwaymen does have going for it is a furious pace with very little exposition, and several excellent action set pieces featuring numerous vehicle stunts. For a no-brainer you could do far worse.
Highwaymen is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is simply excellent. With a razor sharp image the picture quality is hard to fault. Shadow levels are spot on with strong detailed images and solid blacks. There is not a hint of low level noise or compression nasties, and grain is just as scarce.
Colours are rich and enhance the location shooting to great effect. The film's landscape and rural setting have been rendered with an artist's touch which gives the story an ethereal quality.
There are no film or video artefacts to speak of.
Highwaymen spoils us with not only a reference quality 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track, but a DTS one as well. Also included is a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track for those without a surround sound system.
Dialogue is rendered perfectly with no audio sync problems apparent whatsoever.
The music by composer Mark Isham enhances the furious pace of the film and adds greatly to the film's many cliffhanger sequences.
Surround channel use is exceptional. The directional soundfield is flawless and totally immerses the viewer in the on-screen proceedings. The DTS track is slightly richer than the Dolby Digital one, with a fuller, deeper resonance.
The subwoofer is always in play and accompanies both the 5.1 and DTS tracks magnificently.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
All versions of this DVD available are currently essentially the same.
Highwaymen is a decent time waster that had the potential to be something special. Sadly, the concept proves a lot more interesting than the execution. The disc has a fabulous transfer with no added extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||LG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie|