Title – Need for Speed (2014)
Director – Scott Waugh (Act of Valor)
Cast – Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Rami Malek, Harrison Gilbertson, Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton
Plot – Framed for a street race murder, Tobey Marshall (Paul) looks for revenge in a secretive American race that will see him verse the very man who set him up, Dino Brewster (Cooper). With a little help from car loving English girl Julia (Poots) and some slick driving, Tobey’s chance at redemption may just become a reality. But really it’s all an excuse to drive really really fast, and really really illegally.
“Racers should race, cops should eat donuts”
Review by Eddie on 20/11/2014
Perhaps signalling the true dark times of Hollywood movie making were remakes, reimagining’s and licensing run wild, Need for Speed produced in part with EA and based off there long running racing themed game series is sure fire example of how low some studios have sunken to in search of big budget material and potential franchises able to reap the money of teenagers pockets for years to come. While this is true and in ways slightly depressing, something surprising happens with Need for Speed, for not only is it a decent video game adaptation but it’s a seriously enjoyable movie despite all its many varied and glaring flaws.
Not to be taken seriously in any way shape or form, Need for Speed is guilty pleasure movie making at its most fun, it’s most entertaining and at times hand clapping stupid thanks to a set of unbelievable circumstances and more crazy driving shenanigans than you can poke a Fast and Furious box set at. Handling proceedings with some type of Paul W.S Anderson like glee for ridiculousness is director Scott Waugh who seemingly set out to burn as much rubber and testosterone as humanly possible in a film that features one of the most un-plausible scenarios this side of a Damon Lindelof script but none of that really matters when the action is so self-aware and enjoyable. Not even some horrible acting turns can dampen the silly fun times.
Everyone’s favourite chemistry assistant Jesse Pinkman aka Aaron Paul is given his first real chance to make a mark as a film lead here as driver extraordinaire Tobey Marshall and by George does he make a fist of it all. Paul doesn’t exude a single ounce of the charisma that made his Breaking Bad turn such a roaring success, filling his turn here with concerned eyebrow raising moments, gruff mumbling undertones and some hooky serious intent stares in a performance that will not likely result in studio execs clambering for his services. All actors in the piece are overshadowed by their 4 wheel compatriots with a crazy hyperactive turn by son to be Birdman Michael Keaton as shock jock racing figure Monarch a real highlight/lowlight of this adrenaline fuelled ride.
Recommending Need for Speed would be like recommending to someone that they should drink Coke every day, it might taste good but it certainly isn’t good for them. Need For Speed has no illusions of what it is even if it may have wanted to be some type of rival to the Furious series. With enough entertaining car related sequences (that scarily lack a concern for the average day pedestrian), a one liner filled b grade script and the curiosity factor of seeing Paul try and lead a big budget venture one thing is for sure, Need for Speed is never not enjoyable (even though it’s about 40 minutes to long) when taken in the right context. Burnt rubber for all then?
3 over the top workplace exits out of 5