‘Overhaul’ (2023) Review: A High-Speed Racing Movie You Can Watch Once

Coming from Brazil, Overhaul is Tomas Portella’s movie about crime, robbery, and racing, released on Netflix. Starring Thiago Martins, Sheron Menezzes, and Milhem Cortaz in the lead roles, this is a movie about high adrenaline and fast-moving trucks. It presents us with a race-truck driver who’s not been faring too well in the tracks, and when some unforeseen circumstances force his hands, he’s made to get into a path that can only end the bad way. Here’s a detailed review of Overhaul, and you can decide whether you want to give it a go.

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Spoilers Ahead


What’s The Movie About?

Roger Matos is a second-generation truck racer, following in the footsteps of his father, Mario, who set up a racing shop after being a multi-time winner. However, of late, Roger’s luck is going down the drain, as he continues to lose to “The Queen” Rainha, and his father’s shop is deep in debt. His only supporters are his coach Danilo and Danilo’s teenage daughter, Barbara, but Roger quickly needs to come up with a solution. When Roger is arrested after a DUI, his father Mario bails him out, but they fall apart following a heated exchange. Moments later, Mario’s car is hit by a truck, and he dies instantly.

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With Mario’s passing, Roger inherits the debt-ridden shop and the thugs sent by Odilon, to whom Mario owed money. Odilon is none other than an organized crime mastermind, engaged in multiple illegal operations, so despite everyone suggesting Roger seek Odilon’s help, he initially refuses. However, when all the sponsors turn him down and he’s fresh out of cash, he goes to Odilon for help, who offers him a way out. For stealing trucks and delivering them to Odilon’s bases, Roger will be paid handsomely, and after a little ado, he agrees. He also needs a trusted partner, and he eventually gets Danilo to agree. Odilon introduces the two men to his associate, Smokey, who’s the enforcer of the illegal activities. After the first robbery goes smoothly and the money starts pouring in, Roger is able to upgrade his equipment, and his racing improves.

With more jobs completed, Roger and Danilo start minting cash as the team keeps rising through the ranks of truck racing. However, this sudden success earns the attention of Rainha, who questions Roger about whether his means are exactly honest or not. It also attracts the attention of a man who’d initially asked for a selfie with Roger, although he watches from afar. Danilo suggests to Roger that it’s best they call it quits with the gangsters. Roger agrees and says the next will be their last job, but of course, it goes awry. After a near-collision is barely avoided thanks to Roger’s mindfulness, the team is shocked to find a police checkpoint. Roger drives through the checkpoint, but in the process, Danilo is mortally wounded and dies in Roger’s arms.

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Roger moves in with Barbara but has to sleep on the mattress for lack of proper sleeping arrangements, but it soon gets exhausting. Besides, it’s illegal for a grown man like Roger, who’s not related to a 14-year-old girl, to stay under the same roof. He takes her to his place, and Roger asks Barbara to find someone from her family that she can move in with because her staying with him will be considered unlawful. She says she might have a grandmother and begins searching for her, while Roger decides to make her day better. He gets two gaming chairs and monitors, and they start playing racing games because she loves them. Meanwhile, Smokey keeps calling Roger repeatedly, but he ignores the calls. Roger heads to a new race with a new coach, but asks Barbara to stay with Danilo’s headset. Midway through the race, Roger’s truck starts malfunctioning, and the new coach’s techniques are useless. It’s Barbara who comes to the rescue with all that she’s learned from her dad, and she leads Roger to the finish line as the winner. While celebrating, Roger is visited by Odilon, who asks him to meet Smokey. However, this meeting is captured on camera by the fan who’d previously tailed Rog.

When Roger visits Smokey, he chides the driver for not picking up his calls and making them miss out on a big shipment. Roger says he wants out because he has sponsors now, including Turbo, the biggest investor. Smokey, lets Roger go, but it’s obvious he’s got something cooking. That night, Roger finds out that Turbo’s owner, Toledo, has been shot dead, thereby removing Roger’s biggest sponsor. He gives Barbara an ultimatum to find her grandmother quickly, and she goes to bed.

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The next morning, Roger is terrified to learn that Barbara has been kidnapped by Smokey’s men, and he immediately leaves for their location, as Smokey threatens Roger to pull off their biggest heist yet if he wants to see Barbara alive. Odilon limps in on his crutch and informs the race-truck driver that they need to steal weapons from the police, and it’ll be more money than they can count. Roger is threatened, for good measure, that if he doesn’t cooperate, Barbara won’t survive. Without options, he goes to Rainha, who invites him in. On the day of the heist, which coincides with the finals of the racing championship, Roger organizes all the equipment and manpower he needs to pull off a task this big. And soon, the plan is set into motion as Roger smoothly arrives behind the police truck and unhooks it, while the cops are engaged by thugs arranged by Smokey. Roger manages to get the cargo out, and he drives to the secret location as ordered by Smokey’s assistant, Sketch, but the location remains unknown. Will Roger come out of the ordeal alive, and will he be sent to prison for his involvement? What happens to Barbara and Rainha? Lastly, will Roger be able to race again? Watch Overhaul to find answers to these questions and more.


Review

Overhaul is a racing/action movie, and there’s no hidden agenda or meaning that the movie aims to deliver. Don’t go into the Netflix film expecting to have your minds blown with some deep philosophical lesson, because there’s none. However, it does offer some rather awesome scenes of the race track and neck-to-neck racing scenes. What’s more, they’re race trucks, which is also a rare sight on the tracks. Roger gets to show off his driving skills both on and off the field, and the scenes of him driving massive trucks are very entertaining.

However, when it comes to the plot, it’s heavily underdeveloped because the characters aren’t developed properly, especially the antagonists. They pop out of nowhere and aren’t presented as legitimate threats for most of the movie. Even though Roger’s character is fleshed out, it feels like Rainha and Barbara needed some exposure other than being side characters. Moreover, certain scenes can feel a little longer than necessary, and the runtime could be reduced by a few minutes while still not losing the plot’s essence.

Finally, this is one such movie that will keep you entertained as you watch it for the first time, but it’s only watchable that one time. Once you know how it ends, Overhaul will not attract viewers again. So, if you’d like an entertaining movie about racing and heists, give Overhaul a watch.

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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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Once you know how it ends, Overhaul will not attract viewers again. So, if you'd like an entertaining movie about racing and heists, give Overhaul a watch.'Overhaul' (2023) Review: A High-Speed Racing Movie You Can Watch Once