wheelman trailer

Wheelman exists at a tricky crossroads. It’s the kind of down and dirty, modestly budgeted thriller made for an adult audience that major studios tend to shy away from these days. But as a Netflix original movie, very few people will have the chance to experience it on the big screen, which is a shame because it’s a great audience movie.

And Wheelman is a great audience movie. So invite some friends over, crank up the volume, and be prepared to laugh and cheer and stop breathing for 82 minutes. But first, you can watch the Wheelman trailer below if you need additional convincing beyond “Frank Grillo is a seasoned getaway driver who has a very, very bad night.”

Written and directed by first time filmmaker Jeremy Rush (but produced by Joe Carnahan, a modern master of filthy crime dramas), Wheelman takes place over the the course of a single night as Grillo’s unnamed driver finds a simple job spiral out of control. This trailer does a fine job of keeping the various twists and turns hidden out of the way, playing up the film’s action and sense of style.

And boy, what style! As you may have noticed from the trailer, the camera rarely leaves the car. When it does, it is somehow attached to the car, filming a scene from the hood or the trunk or the side door. The result is a sprawling film that feels claustrophobic – Rush traps you in that car with Grillo and you begin to feel his desperation (especially as the car takes a beating and grows increasingly conspicuous throughout the movie). Think of it as Locke, that movie that followed Tom Hardy on a single long car ride, but with 100% more shootouts and smashed metal.

However, Wheelman isn’t just a cool movie with a leading man that feels like he crawled out of 1973. It’s a cool movie build around a rock-solid screenplay. As I wrote in my review of the film from Fantastic Fest:

But Wheelman is not solely an exercise in style – that style is built to support strong performances and a strong script. Familiar beats are hammered into unfamiliar shapes and every set-up earns a pay-off. When the disparate threads come together and every voice on the phone and adversary on the street find themselves colliding in the breathless final act, you realize you’ve witnessed a magic trick. This is confident pulp, a simple story told with thrilling efficiency by a scarily-talented first time director.

Wheelman hits Netflix on October 20, 2017. Find the biggest TV you can and install a new sound system.

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