Almost entirely set inside a car of a getaway driver, Wheelman is an effective high-concept thriller. Driven by Frank Grillo’s committed performance it features an engaging atmosphere and a decent story. Especially if you like movies about driving. Mostly because they really nailed that feeling of speed and car sounds. Our hero is driving BMW 330i with the Performance Package (ZHP), for most of the time, switching to a familiar classic towards the end. Amazingly, you can get it for under $10.000. And it sounds fucking awesome. When you add to this the fact that he’s a driver for a group of bank robbers, you got yourself quite a thrill ride. Clearly an homage to the seventies classics The Driver and Bullit, just think of it as budget Baby Driver. Although it’s eerily reminiscent of Locke, also unfolding during one night and starring Tom Hardy.
Within the first five minutes, you see that this is going to be a well-directed movie with stylish visuals worth watching. There you go, now you don’t need the read the rest of the review. And while they really milked everything they could from this one location concept, I feel they still needed more characters. I say this mostly because I loved Motherfucker so much here. Oops, I meant Shea Whigham who was very good and surprisingly funny. Wheelman is also a relatively predictable movie. And that’s okay, we’re not here to make history but to have some fun. That being said, I think they’ve dropped the ball with the finale. I was hoping that they won’t go there but they still did, adding unnecessary and a bit pretentious melodrama to the mix.
After just a year on the outside, Wheelman is getting ready to commit another crime. This time he’s extra careful to cover his tracks and protect his identity. After picking up a car, he’s slowly making his way to a rendezvous point where he will pick the other two guys. The three of them plan on robbing a bank just before the closing time. That plan, however, will change significantly when Wheelman gets a phone call from a blocked number.
One of the reasons why you should check out Wheelman is to see just how the fuck they managed to keep the story going almost never moving away from the car. It’s truly amazing and a testament to Jeremy Rush’s skill and talent. I can’t wait to see what’s his next project is. The cinematography is nice and has that sleek and stylish vibe you might expect from a Netflix movie. Also, as you might have guessed, the chase scenes are intense and gunfights look also good. All in all, this is an effective little action/thriller movie. If you’re looking for more similar movies I recommend you first check out The Purge: Anarchy, where you’ll find Grillo in a similar role. Then you can move on to Drive and The Transporter. Also, Nightcrawler gets a mention solely based on that driving at night gritty atmosphere.
Director: Jeremy Rush
Writer: Jeremy Rush
Cast: Frank Grillo, Caitlin Carmichael, Garret Dillahunt, Shea Whigham, Wendy Moniz-Grillo, John Cenatiempo, George Carroll
Fun Facts: Frank Grillo and Wendy Moniz-Grillo are married in real life.