Review: Need for Speed

NeedforSpeed The title of this film couldn’t be more accurate. Need for Speed is a movie loosely based on the popular arcade style racing video game series of the same name. There’s very little plot in those games so they had a lot of freedom when it came to making a movie with a plot revolving around fast cars. Of course they had to avoid being a Fast and Furious knock off despite being a movie trying to cash in on the popularity of Fast and Furious. It does that just fine… it takes it’s time doing that in the slowest fast car movie you’ll ever see. This movie serves as a vehicle (hur hur) for Aaron Paul, best known as Jessie from Breaking Bad. He plays the protagonist Tobey Marshall and sadly he never says the word “bitch”. Along for the ride, quite literally, is Imogen Poots as Julia. A role in which she wears the worst wig since Storm in the first X-men movie. If that’s not a wig then her stylist clearly hates her guts. Aaron Paul is a fine actor but he really didn’t put any effort into this movie. Poots clearly was trying to show her acting chops by expressing the only real emotion outside of hate and/or stupidity seen in the film.

So what is this movie about? Well Mr. Marshall runs an auto repair shop and they are apparently the best there ever was. This is odd as we only ever see them kinda working on a car during their introduction. Despite having these support guys we never actually see them repair or build a thing. I should of course mention the opening scene where they are in a street race which clearly endangers everyone on the road despite having a guy in a prop plane spotting from the sky. Yeah, I found that weird as well. No idea how he got a license to just fly above the city at will…

Well rich asshole Dino Brewster, played by Dominic Cooper, wants these guys to help rebuild this legendary Mustang that was half made by some famous mechanic. But oh no, he’s also a known dickhead and is dating Tobey’s ex/Tobey’s pit buddy’s brother Little Pete. But the shop will go under if they don’t take the job so they decide to fix the car. This is accomplished off screen. Because why have an interesting montage when you can continue to pad the scenes between races with drawn out plot?

From here Tobey meets Julia (Poots) as she is sent by her boss to purchase this new car. Tobey proves it can go as fast as he says in the process pissing off Dino because he has a fragile ego. Dino challenges Tobey in a race. If Dino wins he doesn’t pay Tobey. If Tobey wins he gets all of the money from the car sale. Little Pete gets involved because he’s dumb and the three ace in some super rare import cars that are illegal to own in the states. Now we FINALLY get another race scene! It’s awesome and cool and oh crap, Dino causes Pete to crash and runs off leaving Tobey behind and he gets arrested and locked up for two years. Meanwhile he can’t prove Dino was there because the cars aren’t even supposed to be there.

End act 1.

Seriously. Something that should have been the first 15 minutes of the movie was the ENTIRE first act. The second act is Tobey getting out after 2 years in jail and racing across the US in the Mustang with Julia to find this legendary race so he can use it to prove Dino lied (somehow). There’s SO much padding in this act. There’s a scene where one of the crew quits his job in the most strange and drawn out fashion possible. It’s a very long scene and we see far too much skinny man ass to distract us from the fact that there are no cars or races happening. This is followed by a ridiculous car chase, which is welcome, but his buddy is now spotting it in a helicopter, which is stupid. Next more padding with an on the road refueling scene which had the most bizarrely dramatic music and, again, went on for far too long. The padding really gets annoying fairly quickly. It’s very obvious what they are doing and it’s not welcome. Give us fast cars.

Well they do. We get a few scenes of cars and racing and mostly wild public endangerment. I’m not usually one to care about this but when we are supposed to be rooting for these guys and we see civilians and cops constantly in obviously fatal car crashes it gets to be a bit much. These assholes killed a LOT of people. And they never, ever cared.

The third act half boring drama and half super long race scene. YAY race scene! Too bad the premise is absurd as this super secret race that is funded by this super secret billionaire, played by Michael Keaton, was poorly planned. You see when you win you get the loser’s cars. However the cops intervene near the beginning because the planning was shitty. What we get are losers being arrested or FUCKING KILLED IN THEIR WRECKED CARS. This feels very dumb along the whole ride. It’s a great scene to watch but it makes no damn sense what so ever.

When I left the theater I had a much higher score to give as I was kinda happy with the racing scenes as they were very action packed and a joy to watch! Well the first one was hard to follow but after that they looked great. However all the padding in between was not ok. They could cut 40 minutes out of this movie and we’d be fine. This isn’t 12 years A Slave, I don’t need long still shots of Aaron Paul staring at his girl. That is simply boring. The best thing I can say about this movie is that this exact plot would make a GREAT video game and I hope it happens. I’d play it in a heartbeat! But you won’t catch me watching this movie again. I value my time more than that.

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