(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Need For Speed was ok to say the least, it did have a predictable plot with some very cliched scenes, but for the fans of street racing movies, they will find the race scenes and cop chases actions are fun to watch, and with Aaron Paul acting well for his role. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
Since I was a kid I played the Need for Speed video games which were fun, but for me those types of video games really gets old for me. To me the best racing video game was Midnight Club, because it was a racing game with a story, and the way you customize the cars was more of my style. Need for Speed was the only video game that added the police chases to make it harder for the street racing genre, but I was not really into. So when the movie came out, I wasn’t that hyped for it. It could be cuz I wasn’t a fan of the game, and probably cuz I am a fan of the successful Fast and Furious franchise that i thought it could be a wannabe in the street racing genre for movies. I guess having Aaron Paul in the cast is a good start to make it watchable. After watching the movie I knew the plot of the movie was going to be sub par, but I was pretty impressed with the action. Especially that they used real action and not one iota of CGI. It turned out to be better from what I expected, but it wasn’t great either. I will start with what I didn’t like to what I liked.
What I didn’t like, the story of this movie is horrendous. It was very predictable that I knew 3/4 of the way what is going to happen at the beginning of the movie. The only thing I didn’t see coming was the protagonist being framed and going to jail, and having to deal with cops and bounty’s throughout the movie. The story had the very very cliched scene of his best friend who is like family to be killed by his rival in a racing accident, which motivates him to get revenge on his rival by winning the big street car race called De Leon. I knew in the final race it will be down to those two, and somehow the protagonist makes his rival goof up into a major accident, and has the clear path to win. However, the movie turned to the movie Cars, and he goes back to help his rival out of the car before it explodes. He still ends up winning the race, but geez was that cliched scene necessary. I guess to show the protagonist that he goes by the values of Batman, and believes in justice through prison, not death. I don’t know.
What I liked, let me start off with the acting. The acting was surprisingly pretty good. Of course, you was going to get solid acting by Aaron Paul who played the protagonist role named Tobey Marshall, but the rest of the movie they were pretty solid. The antagonist, Dino Brewster played by Dominic Cooper, showed that he did have respect for Marshall and his crew, but he was convinced that he is the better racer. When he caused the accident for Marshall’s friend to die, his true colors really came out, and you start hating him. He played the villain role well. Imogen Poots playing Julia Maddon was an unnecessary character playing a British exotic car dealer who eventually becomes Marshall’s love interest. Poots played her English self, and did well for what she was written in for. Michael Keaton played an interesting role as Monarch, who is a radio personality for Underground Street Racing, and the creator of the De Leon race. He is very eccentric and passionate about street racing and only wants the best for his big race. I thought he was an interesting character, and wouldn’t be surprised if these type of characters happen in real life. The rest of Marshall’s crew, Ramon Rodriguez and Rami Malek playing Joe Peck and Finn, really provided comic relief and support for the movie which was appropriate. One person that I was really impressed with his acting was Kid Cudi playing Benny. Usually rappers or singers that go into acting are terrible in their role, but I thought Kid Cudi nailed it. He provided very funny comic relief, and he also made me believe that he really knows how to fly planes, and giving air support for Marshall. I believe there may be a future for Kid Cudi in acting. The other thing that really impressed me is the racing and police chasing scenes and action in the movie. Director Scott Waugh who used to be a stuntman decided to not use CGI and go for real stunt car action, and it worked. The races were just as good as Fast and Furious and Rush. The police chases and car crashes were exciting and they put in some great work to make the movie realistic as possible. Something Fast and Furious should learn. The one scene where the army Apache helicopter connected the car, and have it fly looks like a fun experience that I would try. All the cars they show in the movie gives you a taste on European cars and how fast and great these cars can be.
Overall, I believe that if this movie had better writers, this movie could compete with the Fast and Furious franchise. They may have something good with Aaron Paul playing Marshall, but the story has to fit. Their action did blow my mind, but it’s not enough for a great movie, and that’s unfortunate for a movie that really worked hard on the action. The cast has strong potential as well if they are going with a sequel or not. Whatever it is, I still believe that it will be a while before Vin Diesel and his crew will be overthrown in the street racing genre in movies!!! Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.