Just another day in the Australian outback: A car swerves to avoid an oncoming vehicle, flipping over and over until it’s a twisted wreck. Onto the scene comes honest-to-a-fault everyman Colin (David Lyons), who soon finds himself at the center of a serpentine plot involving a headless body and a suitcase full of money. Colin wants to do the right thing, but crooked sheriff Frank (Jason Clarke) and his gorgeous wife, Jina (Emma Booth), have other ideas, as does a mysterious heavy (Travis McMahon) who thinks nothing of killing anyone standing in his way.
Writer-director Craig Lahiff’s thriller has all the elements of a memorably gritty B movie, and for a while, it gets by on its muscular charms. Clarke and McMahon are splendid antagonists, with the former’s volcanic rage balancing nicely against the latter’s quiet menace, while Booth makes for an alluring femme fatale. (Her poolside seduction of our milquetoast protagonist crackles with sadistic, sensual tension.) Yet the more narrative wrenches this modern-day noir throws at its characters—notably several literally physics-defying leaps of logic—the less involving it becomes. There are a few too many twists on this highway.
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