Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Vehicle 19 - review

I gave it 10 out of 10 on IMDb, not because it's the most amazing film out there, but because I feel it's a shame it has a rating below 5, and I'd like to boost it as much as possible! The trailer says it all, what you see is what you get, plus some unexpected turns, which I will save you (no spoilers here!). This is your average "framed & chased by corrupt policemen guy in a car... in another country".

This is a solid entertainment, a highly watchable and quite tense action thriller, which is smart enough to keep it short and simple. Both me and my wife enjoyed it quite a bit.

The film is quite short - less than 80 minutes if you don't count the credits - and I think it's a good thing, because it's light and it's over way before it manages to get boring. I'm sick and tired of overdecorated and pompous action smash hits with tons of CGI, where everything is predictable and lacks any individuality.

Nothing here is over the top or out of place. The main character is far from a saint and still by the end he gets really likable and people cheer for him. The African setting is refreshing. It adds to the odds against Paul Walker, and helps the foreign audience to identify with him - just like the guy we feel lost and kinda desperate.

To me it felt like an EuropaCorp flick - you know, the Besson-produced type of action. So if you like movies like the Transporter, Taken, B-13, etc. then I highly recommend this one!

There are a few things I could criticize. The African rap for example makes my ears bleed, but I admit it was well used to create atmosphere. In some scenes the character "explains" what happens, because it is not shown well (which is a kind of a cinematic failure) - like when two kids steal from him, I didn't get what exactly they took and there was a line like "They stole my glasses." - just a calm statement to make it clear for you. And they could actually add a minute in the end to show us the character AFTER all that happened, instead you get a voice-over of a news report, which explains you where he is and what happened with him, and then the credits roll. We could at least hear Paul Walker's voice... but it was like "OK, no time to shoot another scene, it's a wrap guys, we'll figure something out for the ending later." Here I felt like there's something missing to make the final scene really satisfying, but it doesn't mean you feel letdown or cheated in the end.

And to wrap it up myself - It's a simple entertainment and it's simply entertaining. Wish there were more movies like that coming out - engaging, fast-paced and short (or at least not too long!).