Starring: Paul Walker, Naima McLean, Gys de Villiers
You may like this if you liked: Carjacked (John Bonito, 2011), Running Scared (Wayne Kramer, 2006), The Fast and the Furious (Rob Cohen, 2001)
Michael Woods (Walker) is a down and out ex con trying to turn his life around (naturally), he breaks his parole to travel to Johannesburg to sort out his marriage. It is always refreshing to see original ideas isn’t it? He picks up a rental car that is; you guessed it, Vehicle 19. Unfortunately when driving along he finds a phone with a text message stating “be quick and discreet”, he subsequently finds a gun under the pedals and an unconscious woman tied up in the boot. It then emerges that she is an attorney who has evidence that would convict the chief of police and he soon finds himself a wanted criminal with the entire Johannesburg police force after him. Oh Paul, what are you going to do?
It is always good to see actors leaving their comfort zone occasionally (!) and the marketing team behind this film have really gone pedal to the metal at capitalising on the fact it is a film about Paul Walker driving a car. This is pretty much a B-movie with the entire film taking place inside the car. There is obviously a low budget as a vast majority of the film consists of Paul Walker sitting in the car looking confused/intense/both. He is likeable but only mainly because he is quite funny, he does try bless him, but has a slight tendency to overact. However I must confess I found the film entertaining and though the plot is very generic and lacks any genuine shocks or surprises it plods along at a good pace producing a very watchable, if slightly, forgettable action B-movie. As the film reaches its conclusion and there is actually a proper car chase the action is surprisingly half decent and the ending, though not spectacular is actually half decent in how it is made. Naturally expect a few plot holes along the way but this is actually entertaining enough for those to be forgiven.
Vehicle 19 is a text book but competent B-movie, but surprisingly watchable and fun. I would never recommend putting it at the top of any rental list, but if you are looking for an extremely easy to watch 90 minutes with a surprisingly likeable lead actor really giving it his (surprisingly but unintentionally funny) best, then you could do far worse than this.