85 Min | Action – Thriller | February 2013
IMDB Rating: 4.8
Director: Mukunda Michael Dewil
Starring: Paul Walker, Naima McLean, Gys de Villiers
Vehicle 19 Review: Paul Walker (who’s most well known for the immensely popular street racing/car heist franchise ‘THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS’) stars in another car-chase movie. This one is a mistaken identity film about a recently paroled criminal who accidentally gets in the wrong rental vehicle and becomes wanted by corrupt police. Vehicle 19 was written and directed by South African filmmaker Mukunda Michael Dewil and is set (and filmed) in his home country. It’s Dewil’s second feature (after the 2011 South African thriller ‘RETRIBUTION’). The movie is really low budget and a lot more slow paced than the ‘FAST’ film series but it’s interesting and entertaining enough.
In Vehicle 19, Walker plays Michael Woods, a man who was just recently released from prison and has just got off a long flight into South Africa (as the film opens). He picks up his rental vehicle and realizes it’s the wrong one (it’s a minivan). He soon realizes it also has a cell phone and a gun in it. A man keeps calling the cell phone, thinking Woods is someone else, and Michael later finds out that he’s a corrupt police officer (Gys de Villiers). He also later finds a woman (Naima McLean) tied up in the trunk who has information that she really needs to get to authorities. The corrupt police will stop at nothing to get their hands on her and Woods is unwittingly the man who can help.
Paul Walker is just ‘the wrong man, in the wrong place at the wrong time’. He’s definitely no John McClane, Walker doesn’t have anywhere close to the amount of charisma and action hero presence as Bruce Willis does, but the directing is decent. Dewil’s script is routine and pretty unoriginal but he gives the movie some nice subtle style and that it wasn’t in too much of a hurry or too action-packed. It might not be the movie that some viewers are expecting but to the right audience it could be a pleasant surprise. One of the things about it is it all takes place inside the van (from start to finish). Vehicle 19 is pretty unique for a car chase action film!