<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Scott Waugh. Starring Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Michael Keaton, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek
I remember playing the game Need For Speed and unlike Grand Theft Auto, I know Speed doesn’t really have any plot in the video game. I guess that’s why the movie doesn’t have one either.
At over two hours in running time, Need For Speed is a really slow film. And what on earth is the plot? Even if you do get it, you’ll see the plot holes even in the dark.
There’s lots of American attitude and posturing in Need For Speed. But God only knows what these characters have to act so super cool and slick. Aaron Paul’s Tobey Marshall is a mechanic and his buddies and he have to work for someone they don’t like – why? We are never really told – but they do, cause Tobey’s garage is in trouble and ‘we must stand by Tobey’. Please!
This someone they don’t like is a rich kid race car driver and entrepreneur called Dino (Dominic Cooper) who ends up killing Tobey’s ‘little bro’ friend Pete in a car race. Tobey goes to jail, Dino back to his life. Two years later, Tobey must get revenge by… taking part in an illegal road race called DeLeon held by a maniacal ex-race car driver called Monarch (Michael Keaton). Half the movie is just about Tobey and sidekick-love interest Julia (Imogen Poots) violating traffic laws for apparently no reason and killing lots of innocent people in the bargain!
Reckless and stupid
A lot of reviewers, parents and responsible teenagers may have a problem with Need For Speed. Because unlike the Fast and the Furious films, this one has a bare bones plot that doesn’t go anywhere and is poorly thought out and executed. Example: The car used by Dino to ram Pete’s car and send him flying over a bridge to his demise is hidden away (and not destroyed) very conveniently for Tobey to find and use as evidence that Dino killed Pete. And then Tobey uses this car – a valuable piece of evidence that can exonerate him and bring Dino to justice – to race in the DeLeon.
So you take the car, have it all banged up and scratched and expect it to be used as evidence? Isn’t it evidence tampering or tainting the exhibit? That’s not going to be admissible in court. But they all seem okay with it. Police cars smashed to bits, policemen killed, innocent bystanders killed, oncoming traffic put at risk but the ‘good guys’ don’t seem to care. And neither do the filmmakers. Shocking!
Even Michael Keaton’s attempt to look like some fun psychotic gaming mastermind fails miserably since no background or motive for his challenge is ever established or explained.
And as for the car races and chases, they are utterly pedantic. Driving against traffic a bit fast seem like high octane to you? Need For Speed is the perfect example of the worst type of Hollywood movie and yes the video game was better!