Six films into "The Fast and Furious," Vin Diesel, The Rock, Sung Kang, Ludacris and Tyrese have crowded Paul Walker out of his own franchise. With "Vehicle 19," Walker takes the wheel. Only now, it's on the wrong side of the dashboard.
The handsome but unassuming gearhead plays an American ex-con with so much bad luck that when he lands in left-lane oriented South Africa, the car company gives him the wrong rental — a screw-up that steers him straight into a deadly sex trafficking scandal starring the Johannesburg chief of police. Hit the brakes!
Writer-director Mukunda Michael Dewil's thriller is so car-centric that Walker never even steps out of the vehicle to stretch. When he needs a moment to think, he drives it through an automatic wash.
A serviceable if silly B-movie, "Vehicle 19" will be lucky to make even one-tenth of "Fast and Furious 6's" opening weekend haul. But even if it doesn't have the budget to let Walker race a plane, there is a nifty grocery store chase where his minivan whizzes past dish soap and canned corn.
Also on hand are the compelling Naima McLean, as a special-prosecutor-in-peril, and a rainbow of South African bit players hired to rob the car, paint the car, or stand in the road like traffic cones.
— Amy Nicholson
MPAA Rating: R for brief, strong language.
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Playing: At AMC Ontario Mills.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun