Qt3 Movie Podcast: Wheelman

Daddy Driver!
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2017/11/13/qt3-movie-podcast-wheelman/


Yay! A Qt3 Movie Podcast for a movie I’ve seen! Woohoo!


Alright, this was a great discussion. The only big aspect of the movie that I thought about during the movie that you guys never brought up is the way the movie spends so long on that classic side camera shot. You know the shot I’m talking about. A lot of movies do this, filming from the perspective of the passenger seat looking towards the driver. In that camera angle you can’t see what the driver can see in front of the car, but you can see the side of the car.

Now, it’s become such a trope in movies how they always use this side angle. You see this angle, and it’s usually used to shock the viewer as a huge truck plows into the car from the side, blindsiding the driver. So whenever they switched to this view in the movie, every time he goes through an intersection, I would tense up. And then relax again, because the view is used so frequently, I ease up and realize that this is just a default view in the movie.

Of course, later in the movie, they do use the sideways crash. But they’ve been using that view so much, it’s still a shock.


I really love your breakdown of the side angle, @Rock8man. I’ve been thinking about it for days, particularly when I drive.

You made me want to watch this movie again.


“Dad I’m not calling to ask you. I’m calling to tell you. As a courtesy.”


Frank Grillo has his fingers taped to ensure he’ll be able to grip the wheel if his hands get sweaty. I thought it was a nice detail.

For me it seemed that the reason he was doing the job was more about paying back the debts incurred by having the family look after his family whilst he was in prison and less about the thrill. Grillo seemed too on edge as the caper started, more intent on finishing rather than savouring.


I didn’t get the sense that there was any thrill in it at all. I mean, it’s kind of implied that there was a thrill, before prison — the Porsche, taking his daughter to the track — but there’s none during the actual job. It’s about survival, and then protecting his family.


Why doesn’t he wear driver’s gloves? That’s seem like a weird solution to the problem!

Absolutely. He ex-wife has him all wrong when she accuses him of doing it for the thrill. She’s thinking of him as, say, a relapsed alcoholic, but the audience knows he’s doing it to pay back a debt.

(Unlike John Wick 2, who tries to weasel out of paying back his debts! Wheelman is a way more honorable dude than John Wick 2.)



Also, speaking of cellphone thrillers: Personal Shopper.


I loved the filmmaking conceit of limiting information to the the immediate area surrounding the car, and then feeling of satisfaction when the film breaks its rule in the final act. Frank Grillo’s such a lovable badass. His performance managed to sell the whole experience in a very human way, without ever feeling predictably quipy or too stoic. He’s a great actor, and the sparing use of the ace supporting cast was always effective. An excellent, punchy film I liked it so much more than Baby Driver.


My girlfriend and I loved Wheelman which we watched over the weekend. Such a raw, tense and snappy thriller with some remarkable performances and a refreshing degree of restraint after Baby Driver. Yeah, we enjoyed this a lot more so thanks for the tip! It reminded me of Cash Only as a ‘phone thriller’ with the protagonist in a tight bind.