(Peter Carter, 1977)
If your big trucking company is going to undermine its independent competition, you do have other means at your disposal than spraying them with gunfire. And if these guys do want to go that route, they might be expected to, you know, delegate the thuggery instead of leaving it to a 50% equity partner. Having set up this scenario, the filmmakers then try to portray the ringleaders as nice guy and evil guy - that's right, a 'nice' hijacking profiteer. Hero Peter Fonda figures out they're in cahoots because the hit man leads them straight to head office after shooting up his hotel room. They call on their trucker friends to help, but aside from driving through several fences, all they do is beat up some random labourers, and have absolutely no impact on the narrative. At least they were invited to the party, unlike poor Jerry Reed, the family-man trucker whose plight is supposed to be the point of the movie except he barely shows up after the first hour, displaced by Helen Shaver who may be a tough broad but probably should at least have some sort of limp or abrasion after being thrown out of a speeding car, blah blah blah. It's a shame because the film is amiable enough on the surface; it's only the performers' fault to the extent that they knew what they were getting into. Not the desperately incoherent, flop-sweat-drenched atrocity of Carter's "Highpoint", but there's foreshadowing here for sure.