Netflix debuted an original film last week titled, Wheelman. It involves a guy and a car, you’re smart enough to figure that out. Maybe you’re thinking it might be a little Baby Driver-esque, and you’d be wrong. It’s an hour and twenty minutes of soft talking, guns, bullets to go with the guns, a bag, bad guys, a girl, a Porsche and old Lincoln’s but it’s modern day?
I got a lot of time on my hands right now. Single, kind of seeing someone but she’s a vet and doesn’t have much time. So here I am, watching Wheelman on Netflix late on a Monday night. I should clarify, she’s a veterinarian and not a veteran of foreign war. Just looks at animal parts all day and doesn’t have a thousand yard stare while planning the best escape route from the bar we’re at.
That’s neither here nor there, this is about Wheelman. Netflix’s version of Drive just minus the dreamy Ryan Gosling, his leather gloves, and terrible shifting. Instead, we got Frank Grillo who is dreamy in his own ways. If you’re into dark characters that talk soft and may have done a stint in the clink at one point or another.
SPOILER, Below Is Going To Spoil The Movie, All 82 Minutes Of It
So we start off with Frank Grillo aka Wheelman. Literally, doesn’t have a name, Dad seems to be the only thing they call him. He’s going to be the getaway driver for a bank robbery. Lines his BMW up and then gets a call. There’s always a call, always something that comes up. In Dark Knight, it was The Joker dressed up in disguise during the bank robbery. That’s the only example I have right now. Fuck it, so Wheelman Frank has to decide if he wants to wait for these guys to get back in the car and ultimately die at the drop off point or run and survive but bail on the job.
You can guess what he does. He runs but not until the robbers drop the bags of cash in the car. Now he has bags of cash in his car and he has to run away from the bad guys. Terrible news for him and ultimately terrible news for the BMW because it’s about to get destroyed. Rammed in the side by an SUV, bullet holes, the guy on the assembly line never expected this car to meet this fate.
Quick thing about BMW’s real quick. It looked like they used a manual 3 series from 2009-2013 based on the interior. BMW has absolute TRASH interiors. The entertainment system is straight out of a Ford Probe. The interior design looks like something more fitting of a Malibu than a BMW. Don’t be fooled by the badge people, the interior is trash. If you want a 5 speed it’s one of the few cars left so there’s that positive.
Now that the car is trashed he has his daughter bring his Porsche down to him. You know this is a learning moment for a nice Father/Daughter thing too. They talk about how she did shifting and bullshit. Really cute. A vintage Porsche 911, if I’m guessing I’ll go with the early 80’s.
Of course, the next scene is a botched money/wife swap and the wife runs away. Wheelman comes running back to the waiting Porsche with his daughter driving. It’s at that moment you’re like “oh shit, it’s a passing of the guard. The daughter follows in the dad’s footsteps.” Nope, you’re wrong. He takes over for her. Blitzes through some streets and leads them into a trap with the guys looking for the money.
Those dudes in their old Lincoln’s without McConaughey LIT UP the other bad guys. Straight Tarantino style just smoked these dudes with so much lead you could supply schools with enough pencils for a century. Those dudes are dead. Wheelman gets the bags of cash and hands them to a dude looking like a poor Resivor Dogs impersonator.
Go back a few minutes, the girl asks her dad what is in the bags. Of course, she knows it’s money and that he has fallen back to his old ways. “You’re going to go back to jail, DAD.” Yeah yeah, we get it. Of course, he was a bad guy before. Like Michael from GTA5, no one cares.
It was kind of a pointless movie that could have been summed up in about 20 minutes. The storyline was generic, the characters were as equally generic. It wasn’t a movie that will stick with you unless you’re a car guy.
The film did one thing well and that was the driving scenes. No over the top drifts, no 34 upshifts, no ridiculous engine noises. Everything about driving fit. A standard transmission, tires that actually fit and sounded how they should. It was very Bullit-esque in that sense.
Really good camera work as well. 911’s are not roomy cars, putting that number of camera’s inside is an accomplishment in itself.
So watch it for the cars and the driving. Not for the story.
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