Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Need for Speed - Review

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), an expert street racer from Upstate New York, is framed for manslaughter by former friend/rival Dino (Dominic Cooper), because he dared to help fix up and sell Dino's expensive Ford Mustang. Sprung out of jail, he seeks to right the wrong by entering into a major underground race in California, behind the wheel of the same car he sold to a British gear/time-freak (Imogen Poots). Despite being over two hours (130 minutes to exact for Poots), there is no substance in the story to be smoothly spread over the running time, nor does any of it make any sense. Tobey needs to get from NY to CA in less than two days; though he can probably have his flying-vehicle-hopping buddy (Kid Cudi) transport the Mustang in an airplane carrier, he instead drives the entire way there, putting many innocent drivers in danger with his reckless showboating. Why exactly? Well, the movie states that he needs to get his gang back together to help him with the race and do a real-time demo reel for Monarch, the race's organizer played embarrassingly by Michael Keaton. But, as seen by every viewer, his car buddies do jack crap for him except for a cool refueling stunt and he could have done something less destructive and keep his public profile low to impress the strange pirate radio host. All of this doesn't matter at all unfortunately because the third act delivers one stupid twist after another, including a car swap and the sheer dumb notion that Dino would want to keep crucial evidence of his past crime in near pristine condition. Plus, why would anyone want to participate in this pink-slip race if practically all of the cars are destroyed before anyone crosses the finish line? Though the real car stunt-work is commendable in this day and age of Hollywood, it doesn't fully excuse the abysmal script, Paul's flat lead performance, or the fact that the makers tried to strum up any substance from one of the most boring video game franchises.


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