Need for Speed (2014)

needforspeed_2014_poster
Need for Speed (2014)
  • Time: 130 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
  • Director: Scott Waugh
  • Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Michael Keaton

Storyline:

Framed by an ex-partner for a murder he did not commit, Tobey Marshall, a financially struggling custom-car builder and street-racer, spends two years in jail thinking about one moment. Fresh out of prison he reacquires the fastest car his workshop ever built and sold, and seeks to enter a secretive and extremely high-stakes race known as The DeLeon. His purpose; redemption, recognition from the world of racing and to solve his problems. Yet all this fades in comparison to his driving reason. Revenge. Above all, revenge. This is a story about love, redemption, revenge and motor oil all swirled together, but above all; It’s a story about fast, fast cars.

3 reviews

  • My young son and I are huge fast and furious fans. But, sadly the last 3 Fast movies have gotten so far away from driving, that they have just become action flicks. This movie wasn’t some amazing story line or thoughtful scripting, its just a cool movie with LOTS of driving bad-ass cars. It also has a very talented guy playing the lead role, in Aaron Paul. There were no sex scenes, no vulgarity. Just lots of driving and really cool looking scenes. I am a car guy, so I found this movie cool to watch and I hope they do another. It reminded me of the first and second F & F movies, when they actually drove cars in most of the movie. Fun movie, you’re not going to see an Oscar winner, but if you like cars, and you like Aaron Paul you should enjoy this. I agree that the lack of CGI made the film really awesome .

  • Need For Speed 4/10- I can not think of one movie based off of a video game that I actually liked. This is the first. Aaron Paul , better known as Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, leads a flawed but still exhilarating and impressive racing film. The racing movies have definitely been overused as of late, but Need for Speed is still an enjoyable experience even though it does not really add much to the racing film genre.

    Now, is this film as good as some of the recent fast and furious films? No, does not even come close, but it definitely ranks higher than the first two films of the fast and furious franchise.

    The worst parts about the film were probably the parts where it took itself too seriously and try to make you believe that it was the best racing film ever made.Things I would have changed would be certain situations in the movie where it seems like it could never actually happen like a car going airborne and landing perfectly and the car always seems to be fine even if it goes twenty feet in the air at 180 mph. Just stuff that would make it seem in the realm of reality and not like a video game. The best parts still were the driving scenes just because the stunt drivers really made the audience believe that those intense car chases were actually taking place.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/need-for-speed–the-other-woman.html

  • Based on one of the most popular video game franchises of all time and disregarding things like the safety and decency of human life, Need for Speed hit theaters last Friday with what I believe to be mixed results. Since this is Aaron Paul’s transition from his TV stint in Breaking Bad to his first starring role here, we’ll just call this flick “Braking Not So Bad” (ha ha). Anyway, everyone meaning the actors, the director, the assistant director, the script supervisor, and the stunt men probably had a lot of fun making this sort of combination of 1981’s The Cannonball Run, 2000’s Gone in Sixty Seconds and 1968’s Bullitt (as a homage, there’s a showing of Bullitt in a drive-in theater where Need for Speed first takes place). The audience, well they might be rolling their eyes at the inane script only to be glowing in the presence of some of the greatest car chase scenes ever filmed (by a stunt man turned director no less). As an illogical crash and bash/speed trip extravaganza, a dumbed down fantasy, and something that will really enthrall a gear head or a pack of video game-hungry teenage boys, Need for Speed is ultimately an okay film that could have been a lot better. As I just mentioned, there are some amazing, realistic, heart pumping drag races and some cool souped-up automobiles. But miscast actors and a flimsy, clunky script kept me at arm’s length from recommending it.

    Directed by Scott Waugh who filmed some harrowing, in-motion war scenes with Act of Valor and featuring stellar car stunts without the beleaguered enhancement of CGI, Need for Speed examines the character of Mount Kisco, NY’s, Toby Marshall (Aaron Paul). He’s a down on his luck mechanic who races on the side. When he gets a shot at building a car with his other buddy mechanics to pocket $500,000 dollars, Marshall thrives at the chance. He can get out of debt and keep his shop running. After he then rebuilds a sweet Mustang brought to him by a rich IndyCar racer named Dino Brewster (portrayed by Dominic Cooper who plays the villain, wears all black, and does a lot of sneering), they both along with Marshall’s friend Little Pete (Harrison Gilbertson), decide to race for money and a whole lotta bragging rights. In said race, Little Pete dies, Marshall gets pinned for the crash (even though he wasn’t involved) and winds up serving two years in prison for manslaughter. When he gets out of prison, he’s bent on revenge. He can clear his name by going to California and winning a race sponsored by a recluse millionaire named Monarch (played by Michael Keaton). Dino, who’s Marshall’s main rival in said race (called the De Leon), sends his henchmen to try to stop him so he can’t make the 45 hour cross country trip.

    Of note: When Paul’s character goes to prison, it’s sort of a joke. Within barely a scene, he’s already out and he meets up with his friends who are all set to get behind him. The whole sequence of him being incarcerated is so muted and nonchalant, it doesn’t even feel like he was even there. Then, there’s the fact that his auto shop cohorts all follow him to California. A couple of them travel by car and it’s like they’re almost one step ahead of him. He’s supposedly the fastest driver but you wouldn’t know it. Finally, there’s the long arm of the law which seems so incoherent to every speed junkie involved. They bite the dust on more than one occasion trying to chase down Toby (and the other dangerous drivers). They’re paper thin just like Toby’s parole officer who I guess, never even existed.

    Flaws aside, I knew what I was getting into when I decided to take in a screening of Need for Speed. I mean, I didn’t expect to see stellar acting in a movie of this genre but throughout the proceedings, it literally bordered on atrocious (with the exception of veteran Michael Keaton). Added to that, the screenplay which causes the actors (especially Paul) to almost pause between every line, is lazy and juvenile. I don’t know who to blame, the people doing the line readings or the writers (there are two of them and they’re brothers, how neat). In all honesty, I’d have to flip a coin in order to decide. Imogen Poots has charisma as the token love interest, but her character seems a little underdeveloped. And Paul’s character’s supporting cast delivers dialogue that’s the movie equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. I read somewhere where a critic said that their only contribution to Need for Speed, is to follow Paul’s Toby around like lap dogs and provide some comic relief. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. The only problem is that none of the things they say come off as funny.

    Now in the lead, Aaron Paul from what I’ve read, is supposedly a pretty good actor (I’m one of the few people who has never seen one episode of Breaking Bad). However, in what is supposed to be his first starring role (and I guess his first breakout role), he plays Toby Marshall with a lack of confidence. It’s as if he’s not sure that he’s ready to headline his own movie. He channels his inner Ryan Gosling, his inner Ryan O’Neal (from 1978’s The Driver) and the late Steve McQueen. And despite the fact that he has good screen presence and a solid actor’s voice, Paul still manages to be a more robotic version of the trio of movie stars just mentioned. Then there’s Michael Keaton. His screen time is interesting and without hardly interacting with anybody, he still manages to give “Speed’s” strongest performance. He doesn’t have any scenes with any of the other actors despite the fact that his Monarch is the film’s voice. I love Keaton but I’m thinking that behind the scenes, he might have came in for one day of shooting, probably didn’t even meet the cast or talk to anyone, filmed his role in one room, and probably got a huge paycheck (lucky son of a gun). He hams it up and he’s not too shabby. With this screen turn and his portrayal of a rickety CEO in RoboCop, it kinda feels like he’s really back this time. Just a thought.

    Overall, this bad boy clocks in at 2 hours plus. It’s overloaded with a plethora of battered car chase scenes and races. Some of them cater to the plot while others feel more like a greatest hits collection than a thread to an actual movie (the sequence where there is an exchange of gasoline between cars traveling at mach speeds is pretty interesting). If I had to categorize this March release, I’d say that it’s one part silly, one part preposterous, and two parts adrenalized. In truth, Need for Speed is a mixed bag but it’s not the clunker (no pun intended) that most critics make it out to be. If anything, embrace what’s in motion and try to ignore the cringe-inducing dialogue. Bottom line: Need for Speed is not such a bad way to kill two hours. But it’s a vehicle (get it) that truly “needs” some reshoots.

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

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