Paul Walker remains behind the steering wheel, but this action thriller has a whiff of the arthouse about it, simply by being set in South Africa. The plot is as preposterous as Taken, which it resembles in many ways. But there is some guilty pleasure to be had in the way events unfurl for this particular American abroad. And the big climax is satisfyingly ridiculous.
It opens at the Johannesburg airport, where the recently paroled Michael (Walker) arrives on the way to visit his ex Angelica (Haidarian). But the rental agency gives him the wrong car, and when he gets stuck in a traffic jam he starts exploring it, discovering first a phone, then a gun and then a bound-and-gagged women behind the back seat. She turns out to be Rachel (McLean), a kidnapped lawyer caught between dirty cops and even dirtier politicians. And as everyone begins to chase Michael around the city, he gets deeper and deeper into the mess.
Michael is on edge from the beginning, exhausted after the gruelling flight and distracted by thoughts of Angelica. And we soon learn that he has broken parole to leave America, risking everything for this reunion with her. The script reveals its secrets along the way, although the main thing we realise is that writer-director Dewil is doing whatever he wants, sending Michael on a nightmarish odyssey that's more than a little contrived. And Walker is fine in the role of a rather uncomplicated guy who knows how to deal with these kinds of shady situations.
Continue reading: Vehicle 19 Review
Michael Woods is eager to get his life back on track; leave behind his criminal past and reunite with his estranged girlfriend to patch up a tempestuous relationship. He breaks parole in order to go and see her but, due to a mix up with a car rental company, he is landed with a minivan rather than what he asked for: a rather more practical Sedan. However, he decides he'll go with it anyway unaware of the shock that would lie in store. When he discovers a phone with a new text message in the front of the vehicle, he is drawn to a silenced handgun obviously meant for someone else. Not only that, but when he pulls back the back seat, he finds a gagged and bound female hostage who informs him that was going to be killed for her inside knowledge of the corrupt local police. The pair embark on a perilous cat and mouse chase hotly pursued by the feds who he needs avoid anyway for his own reasons.
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