WHEELMAN (2017) Reviews and recommended

‘Drive fast. Think faster.’

Wheelman is a 2017 American neo-noir thriller about a getaway driver for a bank robbery who realises he has been double-crossed. Paranoid and increasingly running out of options, he races to find out who betrayed him.

Written and directed by Jeremy Rush, the movie stars Frank Grillo (Boss LevelJiu JitsuStephanieDemonicThe Purge: AnarchyMother’s Day), Caitlin Carmichael, Garret Dillahunt and Shea Whigham. Produced by Joe Carnahan, Craig Chapman, Frank Grillo and Myles Nestel.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“It’ll hold your interest and entertain you enough that you won’t feel that your time was wasted, but it won’t do anything to interfere with your impending sleep. It is tense and well-performed and entertaining throughout its brief runtime. It does what modest B-movie entertainment ought to do and nothing more.” 3 Brothers Film

“It’s interesting but it never quite reaches the visceral thrills you hope for as the film barrels along. The film sometimes feels hampered by its stylistic choices in a way that may frustrate audiences wanting a more standard action film experience. Even with it’s very brisk runtime of 82 minutes the film feels stretched thin as it reaches an admittedly satisfying conclusion.” Ain’t It Cool News

“The particulars of the plot are a little less involving than the visceral aura of the movie. Once it’s revealed just what’s going on behind-the-scenes of Wheelman’s job the details are not quite as interesting as one might have hoped. Still, this is Grillo’s show, and as long as he’s on the screen we’re invested in the character’s plight. Wheelman is – please excuse the pun – a great vehicle for the actor.” Arrow in the Head

“It’s an excellent genre picture that reverts back to those blistering bad guy as the good guy pictures of the 60s and 70s that would have starred Lee Marvin or Steve McQueen. We root for Grillo, not because he’s the hero, but because he’s the cool antihero who is trying to do good by providing for his family by doing a bad thing.” Back to the Movies

“About 87% of Wheelman takes place in or around the getaway car. That has to be stressed because it keeps the audience’s attention whenever a slight lull could take them out of the film. There aren’t many of those as Rush is able to maintain a breakneck pace stopping only to allow Grillo a chance to breathe […] it’s a superbly crafted crime thriller.” Boom Howdy

” …Wheelman knows exactly what it is and delivers on its intentions to thrilling results. Keeping the proceedings almost claustrophobically tied to vehicle interiors sets up certain limitations, but allows Jeremy Rush to find his own style within those constraints, and keep the plot moving at a hundred miles an hour. With a tight script and runtime, Wheelman is a success top to bottom.” Cinapse

” …Jeremy Rush turns Wheelman the movie into Wheelman the video game, putting Grillo through a series of boss levels, each more thrilling than the last. That’s largely due to a great focus on editing, and the sound design in particular […] every frame is packed for a true explosion of the senses in combo with the tight camerawork to keep the single location as exciting as possible.” Cut Print Film

Wheelman is 82 minutes long. It’s breathless. No scene feels unnecessary and no line of dialogue extemporaneous. It feels like a throwback without feeling like a relic. It’s a blast. Traditional studios don’t make ’em like this much anymore, but they should. You don’t need to teach an old dog new tricks: you understand that they already know all of the tricks.” /Film

“A close-quarters crime film whose protagonist stays behind the wheel but is rarely in the driver’s seat, Wheelman gives fan-favorite tough guy Frank Grillo a chance to open up in a starring vehicle. The directing debut of Jeremy Rush, this solid genre pic plays like a pulpy cousin to Steven Knight’s 2013 Locke, less formally rigorous but more inviting.” The Hollywood Reporter

“There may be a bit too much of the Wheelman talking on the phone while alone in the car for some viewers […] There isn’t a whole lot to this movie in the end, it wraps everything up in just 82 minutes, but I was captivated for those 82 minutes.” Life Between Frames

” …it actually builds an intimacy that keeps the audience complicit in Grillo’s anger and bewilderment. Our being crammed in the BMW with him for such long stretches makes it easy to empathize; his emotional oscillations are like the car’s speedometer, flitting from one extreme to the other. Grillo handles this as assuredly as writer-director Jeremy Rush handles the dollops of action…” Ready Steady Cut!

” …Rush’s refusal to rely too heavily on such traditional action-movie elements makes them all the most thrilling — and in at least one case, genuinely shocking — when he does drop them into the mix. Simultaneously ice cold and red hot, Wheelman reflects the influences of directors as diverse as Jean-Pierre Melville, Don Siegel and John Woo.” Variety

“Jeremy Rush’s jump from PA to feature director is deserved, with this labor of mechanical love to prove it. A badass, compassionate Grillo, screeching wheels, good-guy-wrong-place survival instincts, and a breezy under-two-hour running time to boot? In an age where streamlined movies are rarely this effective, consider Wheelman a car-crunching “Netflix watch” in the most positive way.” We Got This Covered

Production:

Principal photography on the film began on September 12, 2016, in Boston’s Fort Point, and later filming also took place in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Cast and characters:

Frank Grillo … Wheelman
Caitlin Carmichael … Katie
Garret Dillahunt … “Clay” Clayton
Shea Whigham … Motherfucker
Wendy Moniz-Grillo … Jessica (as Wendy Moniz)
John Cenatiempo … Real Handler
Slaine … Jazz Handler
Jeffrey Samai … Ben Okri
William Xifaras … Mechanic
Seth Ayott … Vinnie ‘The Pig Behind The Ram’
Eddie J. Fernandez Jr. … Hip Hop Guy
John Vincent Mason … Man With Jazz
Joe Dryden … Motorcycle Driver
James Fierro … Cop Car Driver
Chris Nolte … Bald Guy

Technical details:

82 minutes
Aspect ratio: 16:9 HD
Audio: Dolby Atmos

Release:

Wheelman was released on Netflix on October 20th 2017.

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Trailer:

  

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