The Need for Speed series is famous for stylish vehicles in races held in unusual locations, allowing the player to drive around in the middle of a hint of illegality. Yes, because clandestine disputes and police leaks are constant figures in games of the series. Given the overwhelming success of the Fast & Furious franchise, it seemed natural that a big-screen adaptation arise anytime. What was not expected was that the movie was so sloppy in such crucial issues.
The story and the setting of the main characters are not good. Everything revolves around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad series, very apathetic), the good owner of a workshop practicing some illegal races in their free time. One day, he receives an invitation from a disaffected (Dominic West) to assist in the construction of a mythical car, aiming at a future sale. Needing the money, he stumbles. Service done, the two end up dueling in decisive splits… and a great partner of Tobey dies. Result: the hero goes to jail and two years later, resurfaces willing to participate in an illegal race. Of course, the villain of the story will also be in contention.
Problem number one: the look is too clean, abusing clarity. For a setting with one foot in the underground, this makes the story even less convincing as a whole. The choice of the main cast, filled with white actors that do not convey the slightest impression of ever having soiled hands grease, does not help one bit. Not to mention the story of the girl (Imogen Poots), with no chemistry with Aaron Paul and with a British accent, whose function is to give a false air of eccentric character.
Problem number two: the script is very bad! It is not even in relation to incidents of cars, since untruth in the action scenes is something that is part of such films – and, when done well, can even be one of his strengths. Filled with cliches, the movie quite abusing the goodwill in certain scenes. Example? When one of the characters, already imprisoned, asks the warden an iPad to watch a clandestine online race – and does!
Problem number three: the film takes too long to say you came. All this introduction described in the second paragraph takes over half of the film. Apart from being fairly predictable, this sluggishness still prevents the viewer to see what’s most interesting: such illegal race that Tobey searched so much! And when it finally happens, moreover disappointed by the absence of contention in the first places. This movie lack adrenaline, the most important in movies of this type.
Faced with these problems, Need for Speed ends up dragging on for 130 minutes bureaucratic. There are some interesting points, it is true. The rollovers are by far what is most attractive in the movie and end up compensating – in part – a little emotion in this race. Michael Keaton draws attention as excited organizer of De Leon – such illegal race – though it may be hard to swallow the fact that no one knew his identity as his appears as himself, live and in color, on transmissions via web. There are even jokes, some funny, involving the pilot Maverick, whose name is a clear allusion to the character of Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
As a whole, Need for Speed is a very disappointing movie that, even amid of a production based on cars, it leaves to be desired. Any movie of the Fast & Furious series is superior.
Director: Scott Waugh
Stars: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Scott Mescudi
2/5 – Not Good