This is by no means a rare occurrence in Hollywood: An actor makes a crappy low budget film that sits on a shelf for years, then they get their big break so someone decides it’s high time to release said low budget film on DVD to try and make a few bucks off it. Such is the case with Wheelmen and Rainn Wilson.
The story of Wheelmen is a bit jumbled. On one hand you have the story of a low rent limousine company that is hired to drive the Vice President to a conference while a crazed ex-CIA agent (Wilson) comes forward with a crazy conspiracy and ex-ambulance driver (Richard Burgi), who develops a relationship with the young boy, Arthur (Alexander Gould from Weeds), who’s mother died while he was driving her to the hospital while she was pregnant. On their own they are both viable story plots, but putting them together just doesn’t make any sense.
That’s not to say the film has nothing to offer. Being filmed in 2002, it is interesting to see Rainn Wilson in an early role. The character he plays here screams Dwight Schrute long before Schrute existed. Gould gives a great performance as the kid and you even have James Avery from The Fresh Prince 0f Bel Air as the VP.
The film has a very “jump the shark” moment when the main characters are trapped at an abandoned motel in the middle of the desert. A hot chick in a bikini suddenly comes out of the motel swimming pool and tosses them the keys to a classic car. What car you may ask? An Excalibur. The scene might have worked in a different film, but here it is just bizarre.
Wheelmen is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Sound is in English 2.0 Stereo sound. For a low budget film it looks and sounds fine, but by no means is it anything special
If you’re a Rainn Wilson fan, it might be amusing to see a film from early in his career, however I really can’t find any good reason to recommend this film to anyone.
Phase 4 Films presents Wheelmen. Directed by Dirk Hagen. Starring Rainn Wilson, Alexander Gould and Richard Burgi. 93 minutes. Rated R for brief sexual references. Originally released in 2002. Released on DVD: August 15, 2010.
Tags: Rainn Wilson, Weeds