I was checking for something to watch early this morning since I couldn’t sleep, something along the lines of mindless entertainment. I eventually settled on Netflix’s new original movie: Wheelman. I am a sucker for most anything with Frank Grillo since he seems to bridge the gap from supporting actor in decent movies and leading actor in B movies. He is also one of the best lower level action stars and actually commits to roles instead of phoning it in, which seems to be a lost talent. Aside from that, I hadn’t seen a trailer and didn’t know what to expect. So what did I think?
I would give it 8 “Out of Area calls” out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
A wheelman gets more than he bargained for after a bank robbery goes sideways. Soon he realizes he was double crossed and he will have to find his own way out.
Director: Jeremy Rush
Writer: Jeremy Rush
Starring: Frank Grillo, Garret Dillahunt, and Caitlin Carmichael
The camera work was the first thing I noticed. It sets the movie up as somewhere between claustrophobic and a third-party view to the action. A majority of the movie is spent inside the car, so that puts a lot of pressure on the story, pacing, and actors. Luckily all three hold up throughout the movie. The story isn’t overly complicated, but it is compelling enough to stick around and find the cause behind the crossing / double crossing. There wasn’t a slow spot in the movie, which was fairly surprising due to the lack of pedigree behind the movie. Lastly, all of the actors really carry the movie whether it is by voice or physicality. In short, everything works together and builds a synergy.
The only real issue I had with the movie was the lack of polish. Some of the camera work was shaky or grainy, but that could have been what they were aiming for it to be. The daughter also didn’t seem that young, which could have easily been written to be an older character. Other than that, I didn’t have any issues with the movie.
I didn’t have any real expectations, but went into Wheelman thinking it would be a low budget Baby Driver or Transporter. It ended up being much different in a great way. There was plenty of action and suspense, but it focused on the story in a much different way that I can’t quite pinpoint what made it different. Maybe it was the darker tone and mystery, but it worked. You should definitely check it out if you like crime or action movies.
My thought process for finding a movie to recommend was to find something in a fixed location or locked on a single actor. The one that jumped out is Resevoir Dogs since it is another crime mystery movie as well. Surely you have heard of it if you haven’t already seen it since it put Tarantino on the map. Just in case you haven’t, it takes place after a robbery and the crew that is still alive is stuck trying to find out who sold them out.