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|Index||78 reviews in total|
I watched this last week on February 23rd at the theaters. I am not
sure why this was released here in Japan well before the rest of the
World because Japan tends to be last in getting movies released.
It was a good story overall and I must say excellent cinematography. The film takes places in Johannesburg, South Africa and the film does an excellent job showing the ins and outs of the city.
Paul Walker does a great job playing Michael Woods. His role reminds me of his role in Running Scared as he seems to have a short fuse and quite foul-mouthed. Don't let the trailers of this movie fool you however. You see Paul Walker and car chases and might expect a Fast and the Furious type of flick. However this movie is more of a car adventure/drama than action/car chase movie. I can say however that most of the movie takes place in a car.
I liked this movie overall but it is not the type of movie that you rush out to see in the theaters. There aren't enough action sequences to get the theater effect. Wait for DVD.
A low budget indie thriller with an interesting concept, but VEHICLE 19 suffers from sluggish pace and short of adrenaline rush. The first thing that attracted me to watch this low-budget indie thriller called VEHICLE 19 is its irresistible concept -- the movie is shot entirely from inside the car. Now that's what I called a great novelty. However, South African director Mukunda Michael Dewil fails to capitalize his own concept. Instead of a fast-paced thriller normally expected from this kind of movie, VEHICLE 19 sputters as it moves along. Somewhere in between, director Mukunda Michael Dewil manages to stage some claustrophobic moments and worthy action scenes within the confined space of a car (and limited budget). Paul Walker is fairly adequate to put on a (mostly) one-man show as a brooding and manic anti-hero. It's a shame that Mukunda Michael Dewil's script is lackluster. More than often, the movie loses its momentum whenever it tries to elaborate the storyline. The pace is patchy, while the movie's overly-stylized look is too distracting for its own good. Overall, VEHICLE 19 only works in certain angles. The rest of them are as rusty as a beat-up engine.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wasn't expecting much of this film given the largely unknown cast,
but it failed to meet my rock bottom expectations.
The main protagonist stumbles his way through what should be a routine trip from the airport to his girlfriend's house. Firstly, he's in a strange country but has no Sat-Nav.
Instead of concentrating on the road, he's eating, drinking, doing everything distracting that he can to ensure that he nearly knocks down every pedestrian in sight.
Then he finds a gun in his car. What does he do? Throw it away? No, he decides because the car has a gun in it, he doesn't like it any more, and he abandons it in the middle of a dangerous South African township and starts walking!
Another ten minutes, and another half dozen ridiculously ill-thought out events and we couldn't watch it any longer. Avoid.
A foreign traveler (Paul Walker) unknowingly picks up a rental car that
will tie him to a web of corrupt local police. That's how it was
listed, sounded like it would be a good thriller, so we decided to rent
it. BIG Mistake! As soon as the movie starts, they start to play some
kind of loud rap mess, Oh Ooooooo.....
Fifteen minutes into the movie, my wife whispers that our dog has more intelligence than the main character. That sums up the writing script. I won't go into the countless preposterous senseless things that happen because my review would be as long as the screen play itself. But, diehards that we are, we watched it to the end. All 85 minutes of it. You read correctly. The writer couldn't even think of another 5 minutes of junk to at least make it a respectable 90 minutes. Oops! Did I say: "Watched it to the end"? That would insinuate that there was actually an ending to the story. There Was an end to the movie but the end of the story must have been cut. I guess the writer figured that since most people would have walked out already, he could save a few minutes of his time and money by just not wasting time on an ending.
This movie was obviously written for a percentage of the younger crowd that support double digit I.Q.'s. Of course, if you are one of the above, just ignore my obviously ridiculous review, accept my apology, and rent this Exciting, Action, Thriller immediately.
If I sounded cynical or misanthropical, guilty as charged. I realize that movie makers lie, cheat, and do whatever they can think of to Sell A Movie so that they can milk the public for every penny that they can. But, to this day, I still feel defiled when I voluntarily give up my hard earned money for something that is advertised as good when it turns out to be just another ripoff. And, as usual in the case of bad cinema drivel, the trailer was once again better than the entire movie. Heck, just watch the trailer 40 times. That's free, you'll get your 85 minutes worth of entertainment, and you'll enjoy it more than the actual movie.
As some reviewers already pointed out, this movie is closest to Phone
Booth in style and theme. In contrast to it, Vehicle 19 fails to keep
up the constant level of intensity and escalation. However, it surely
was an entertaining flick.
All the negatives of pacing problems aside, reason for 7 stars are twofold: 1) Paul Walker's excellent performance and 2) just driving around in JoBurg was interesting in itself. JoBurg is not the most typical setting for a thriller. Previously, I had written Paul Walker of as a pretty-boy surfer-dude who likes to drive fast cars. But in this one he showed that he is a quality actor who can deliver subtle and intense performances.
A plot nicely laid out in Johannesburg...
But the movie failed to have control and the director miserably failed to get a thrill out of it.
It can be considered a better City Tour of Johannesburg then a movie worth enjoying.
By the name and the cast the movie was to be a thriller...
But it was more of a waster.
I always consider a movie a HIT when it keeps coming to your mind even the next day and the next day.
Its the flavor...
But this one i wanted to sleep in the theater rather than waste my time watching it.
One reviewer says this film has a "nice plot", but the plot of Vehicle
19 is actually its greatest downfall, and, as movies generally succeed
or fail or their plots, this movie is a bit of a bummer.
What I am about to say might, for some films, be a plot spoiler, but as I've established the plot is poop, I don't think I need to worry.
So, Paul Walker arrives at Jo'burg airport, picks up the wrong rental car and subsequently discovers a silenced gun has been left for the rightful renter for the purpose of killing the female lawyer currently tied up and gagged in the trunk. Hmm. Someone has gone to the trouble of kidnapping this woman, sourcing a silenced weapon, bundling her into a rental car, but doesn't bother with that extra step of killing her. (This is a little like that old James Bond moment when the baddies always but always fail to actually kill him when they have the chance.) Instead, they have hired someone from abroad to fly in, pick up the car, take it somewhere remote and kill the woman. Come on, people, this is one of the most violent countries on earth; you couldn't find someone local to do the job?
This is, therefore, one of the most contrived plot openings ever, and its discordant noise reverberates throughout the entire film. Paul Walker's character makes some equally idiotic moves with the sole purpose of progressing what remains of the plot, ignoring common sense at every turn in a sterling effort to place himself in as much danger as possible.
You get the gist.
The final scene is a direct rip-off of Clint Eastwood's The Gauntlet, which is a far better get-this-lady-to-safety film than Vehicle 19 could ever hope to be.
It's rather sad. As much as I really like Paul Walker as an action hero, and mourn his untimely passing, this is a pitiful epitaph for the man.
Being very different from the trailer, I still found myself enjoying
this thriller very much. It's very unconventional, something I really
enjoy. After watching a ton of movies over the years, I love to watch
something new. This is!
We meet a guy out on parole after killing someone in an accident, going to Jo'Burg, South Africa, and going to be there on a scheduled time, meeting his wife at the American embassy. But things go wrong off right after landing on a delayed plane. He gets the wrong car by Hertz, where there are two car rented by the police. He finds himself in an awful predicament, and is soon hunted by corrupt police. But being the son of a sadist, the corrupt police has "picked" the wrong guy to frame for a crime. Paul Walker is great, acting very solid.
I like the South African touch here. An American coming to a very different and exotic country, where he immediately finds himself not knowing anything. This is fresh film making, and far from your average stupid Hollywood flick.
Don't listen to the haters here. They were probably expecting a Fast & Furious rip off or lookalike movie here. This is nothing such. It's a rather exceptionally different thriller. Not everything is 100 percent believable, but still it's way better than a lot of others.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Vehicle 19 starts off with an American being chased by the Police, cars
and a helicopter, through a gritty large urban city, in Jamaica
possibly? The man seems desperate and in quite a bad situation. The
present action ends with what appears to be an impending possible crash
by use of a fade-out with the caption: "Earlier".
So, "earlier", the protagonist named Michael gets into his airport rental which is problematic as it apparently isn't the vehicle he requested. Being already late and apparently seeking to renew a troubled life and relationship he calls a woman who he is to meet. This movie is already playing on the modus operandi of giving almost no back-story excepting there has been trouble in Michael's life, likely of the criminal kind, and he is in a far place hoping for a renewed relationship with his significant other (who turns out to be his wife who is employed at The American Embassy). Audibly, as we yet have no idea who the woman is, a phone conversation transpires in which she warns Michael not to let her down again - to which he says he will not. He repeats "stay out of trouble" several time over to himself as he drives. Funny, the writers feel it is important we know that trouble will ensue by ramming it home...Wow, thanks!
As Michael drives everything seems "off". He gets lost and in stuck traffic. A call to the woman who he is meeting underscores just how "hanging-on-a-thread" the their relationship is as she mentions a reference to if he has stopped for liquor implying myriad trust issues. Good, now we can have a "doomed" love story undercurrent!
While waiting in traffic, a wolf casually strolls by his rear-view mirror between traffic. Spooky? Things are definitely off in this place. Two kids pull a "grift" on him as he waits. Things ramp up for the worse. He resumes his trek to meet the woman, Angie which turns out to be his (estranged?) wife, but not only is he still lost, but he finds a gun under the seat and he gets a phone call from a mysterious mobile phone planted among the things in the car. After this he decides to just dump the car and it's contents, but a second call convinces him that there was a legitimate mix-up involving an under-cover police person for who the car was intended. He is to meet the police to simply exchange the car. While the viewer now has a feeling of a story coming together you're still as "lost" as the Michael character is as he tries to find his new destination. This movie purposely holds back hoping to build suspense. Even realizing he will get a "tongue-lashing" from Angie, Michael calls her to get directions to his car-exchange destination. She is told she has to trust him and to not ask questions. She acquiesces because you know she just loves the punishment by her one "true" love has already given...And, now there promises to be more good times ahead!
Just as Michael receives Angie's directions (possibly alluding to much more than how to get to "Smut" street) things get much worse. A tied-up woman emerges from the back seat area. Things build toward maximum strangeness as Michael is almost shot and another call, from who Michael believes to be the helpful police, exposes that whoever these people are they know that he has broken his parole and are not the trust-able kind of police. The passenger is a public official about to expose corruption inside the government and she believes she is to be eliminated at whatever cost. The chief of police is heading a major sex-trafficking ring. Now, after a bit of painful slow build-up, a story is starting to develop.
The meeting goes wrong just as expected. Michael and Rachel, the kidnapped public prosecutor, escape...Yeah, that was expected even though they were outclassed in manpower, horsepower, and firepower. Did we expect anything less? Not exactly, plus we get a dumb fierily car crash by one of the chase vehicles. There is much more unbelievable evading the police to be done however, so apparently even though Michael's wife is "safe" inside the U.S. Embassy he becomes a man on a mission with nothing to lose. This could be a decent, if already done, story...But, somehow the trek to the outcome isn't believable enough to "grip" the viewer with the suspense the movie aspires to create. It's just a depressing and far-fetched ride to the "big" ending.
Even if the first part of the movie was built on a slow, sometimes painfully, reveal. We now get, more or less, the standard running for your life from just about everyone. The great effort to build a slowing evolving bigger and bigger suspense seems to fail due, primarily, to the quite unbelievable evading of the police and living through it. I guess a Chrysler mini-van is suppose to make that more difficult or something? All in all, though watchable not particularly a good movie within the genre of an suspenseful drama with action. In the end it rates no higher than a 4 in spite of Paul Walker's serviceable (i.e. decent yet not saving) acting hampered by an extremely tepid screenplay.
Plot was refreshing. Paul's acting specially toward the later half was
good. The camera usage laced inside the car was very unique. Not seen
many movies with this kind of attempt.
What screwed up the movie for me was the numerous logical errors right from start. Car company gives a rental without checking and cleaning out the vehicle? Why would a person in a new country rent a car...instead of using a taxi or Super Shuttle or whatever? In 2011 who does not have a smartphone which has GPS capability? Who does not come prepared to a new country without specific instructions to reach the US Embassy? Paul takes so much time to decide to spray his car. If you are a criminal on the run the first thing you would do is to ditch your vehicle and try using another. Or just hire a cab to get to US embassy.
A different Director would have made this a great movie. Sorry I cannot go beyond 5 in rating this movie
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