Cert: 12A Runtime: 132 mins Director: Scott Waugh Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek and Michael Keaton
They took everything from me
Judging a film before you watch it is always a bad move. But being an honest person, I hate car movies! The only reason I even remotely watched Need For Speed was for Aaron Paul. So what is Need For Speed about? Underground street racer and muscle car mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) owns a garage that soups up high-end vehicles. When his best friend is murdered during a race, Tobey finds himself framed by his wealthy, arrogant business partner, Dino (Dominic Cooper). Having served his time, he joins a gruelling cross-country car race, during which he plans to get revenge. Hearing of this, Dino puts a bounty on his head. Imogen Poots co-stars as a car dealer who does business with the two men, while Michael Keaton plays the race’s eccentric organiser.
Story is completely absurd, while motivations are necessary as reasons for the lethal unlawful races, the movie would’ve been better if characters would just race randomly. They make plot holes in every turns; it has surpassed the redeeming point long before they reach finish line. People would do things so numbingly reckless simply because Fast and Furious clearly inspired them, not to mention script and screenplay are done haphazardly, there’s little to no humour or emotional investment to be had.Aaron Paul as Tobey Marshall tries to put some sense of personality with gruff voice. He looks tense and worried in almost all scenes, probably trying to decipher of the script. Imogen Poots as Julia Maddon is a complete waste of space. Never mind it’s stupid for a car dealer to be involved deeply in the first place, she has neither charm nor wit to hold a scene. Probably the purpose she’s badly shoehorned is she’s blond and has thick English accent, a supposed independent love interest, but she’s just nagging, yelling obvious things or trying to ensure the audience how radical the stunts are.The rest of ragtag team is stereotype support characters, such as the savvy mechanic, another savvy mechanic who can only be differentiated by stripping erratically, and a pilot who arrives timely with array of aerial vehicles, always cracking jokes.
The movie never decides whether they are a fully coordinated team or just a bunch of clowns. And there’s Michael Keaton, who passionately wants to sell the movie as if he’s a used car salesman. Throwing high tag prices and misleading dramatization of what’s actually a life-threatening road rage disguised as a race on par with F1, where the participants are constantly facing the threat of death or incarceration. Its racing scenes are admittedly pretty decent. There are some scenes that utilize camera angles very well, like occasional drivers’ perspective or strategically placed shots of near misses and crashes. They exhibit orotund energy, conveying the fast heated rivalry. If only the movie focuses more on this aspect instead of the nonsensical plot, doesn’t try too hard to be pretentiously dramatic or funny, it could’ve been fun to watch. Furthermore, the movie is about two hours, that’s a lot of time to drive in obscurity.With idiotic story, poor attempt on comedy and altogether bad acting, Need for Speed ruins yet another video game adaptation and hopefully crashes so terribly, there won’t be a sequel.