MOVIE REVIEW: Need for Speed
Need for Speed is the new action movie that is based upon the popular video game series of the same name. There have been a number of other video games made into movies with varying success, such as Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, five different Resident Evil movies, and of course Super Mario Bros. Need for Speed is directed by Scott Waugh who is best known for directing the war movie Act of Valor which used real life U.S. Navy Seals as the actors. The movie stars Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame, along with Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, and the original Batman himself, Michael Keaton. The movie was post-converted to 3D and will be released in both conventional 2D and 3D.
Tobey Marshall (Paul) is a legendary street racer, but has fallen on hard times and is on the brink of losing his mechanics shop. That is, until his rival, Dino Brewster (Cooper), offers him the job of a lifetime to finish building a Shelby Mustang that could sell for over two million. The problem is that Dino isn’t to be trusted and Tobey accepts the offer against his better judgment. The car gets finished and sold and Dino challenges Tobey to a street race for all of the profits. Tobey agrees and Dino also allows Tobey’s friend Pete join the race. The race ends in tragedy and Tobey goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Upon his release from prison, Tobey has only two days to get from New York to San Francisco to compete in a prestigious underground street race and face off against Dino one last time. To do so, he borrows the Shelby Mustang from its owner promising half of the winnings of the race. Its a race against time with many obstacles standing in the way just to make it to the race, and then upon arrival, he must beat some of the world’s best drivers in a high stakes deadly race.
Need for Speed is the early favorite for worst movie of the year, and I’d be very surprised if it didn’t finish the year in the top spot (or bottom, depending on how you look at it). This is a complete mess of a film with really nothing at all working for it. First off, there are a number of major plot points that must have been left on the cutting room floor that made the entire story meaningless. There is this fierce rivalry between Tobey and Dino, but they never fully let us in on why all the bad blood. Also, there is a some past with Tobey and Pete’s sister, but that was left out as well. All of this to make room for more spinning tires and fish tail turns. I realize that this movie wasn’t made for my demographic, but when a movie that takes itself so seriously goes so far outside of reality, it becomes impossible for me to watch. The decisions that these characters make are out-of-this-world idiotic. I know, I know, its just a movie, but Hollywood can do better than this. The movie is over two hours long and I was ready for it to end twenty minutes in. I kept thinking to myself that I cannot take another half hour car race, and that is exactly what happened. Nothing about this movie came together for me. On a different note, I do want to mention Aaron Paul and how great I think he is. He has made a poor choice here, but the movie is hardly his fault. I’m a huge fan of Breaking Bad and Aaron is a huge reason for that. Also, on a side note, I got to see the world premiere of Aaron’s movie Hellion at Sundance this year and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. He stayed around after the Q&A and took pictures and signed autographs for every last person. I’m a huge fan of Aaron Paul, but this was a big miss for him. That said, I wouldn’t recommend anyone wasting their time or money seeing Need for Speed. You could literally just rent the video game and watch it on demo mode for 2 hours and get the same amount of enjoyment.
Need for Speed opens in theaters on Friday, March 14.