Dir: Bryan Bockbrader
Star: Maiara Walsh, Austin Abke, Bryan Bockbrader, Adam Guthrie

Three men kidnap Emma (Walsh), with the apparent intent of holding her for a fat ransom from her estranged father. However, it becomes apparent that only Jack (Abke), actually knows what's going on, having withheld certain important points from his partners in crime. For example, there is the minor point that Emma's father is actually not a wealthy real-estate investor, but the head of a Mexican drug cartel. Unsurprisingly, he does not take well to the kidnapping of even a daughter from which he is separated. Or that the point of the kidnapping is not actually the money at all. The real reason will prove as much a shock to Emma as anyone else, and will shift the dynamics of the scenario dramatically.

As the title - which, let's be honest, isn;t as clever as it thinks - suggests, it mostly takes place within the van used to snatch Emma from her house, as it then drives around. This does lend a certain claustrophobic intensity to proceedings, though it also lends to a certain repetitiveness: there are only so many places you can put a camera in a car, even a relatively spacious one. The main problem we had was horrifically bad continuity; it's one thing to have large helpings of blood spray all over the place. But when the windscreen is drenched in gore one shot, then all but pristine the next, it detracts from the moment. This happens so often, it could be some kind of bizarre in-joke. That aside, we enjoyed the cameos from a couple of veterans, Tony Todd and Danny Trejo, the former playing a seriously intense traffic-cop, who stops the van for a busted tail-light, the latter as the vengeful father mentioned earlier. It's a bit of a shame none of the other performances are anywhere as memorable, though Walsh isn't bad, carrying the film's emotional weight. It does feel a little too much like an adoring homage to Tarantino, and as such, is a good decade past its sell-by date; the enthusiastic ultra-violence helps, admittedly.

[July 2015]

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