Film Review “Need for Speed”

needspeedStarring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and Imogen Poots
Directed By: Scott Waugh
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 130 minutes
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Story? Dumb. Characters? Dumb. Motivations? Dumb. Stunts? Yeah…those were pretty cool, but still dumb. Dumb is the word that best describes this movie. There is some dumb fun to be had, but not enough fun to cover the dumb that induces eye rolling boredom. “Need for Speed” is the latest in a long line of attempts by the studios to peddle street racing smut to teenagers and young adults. For this go around, they base the premise off a video game franchise, but even video games have better writers than this.

Tobey Marshall (Paul) is a grease monkey who moonlights as a street racer in small town USA. He’s in a bit of financial trouble and unlucky for him, an old nemesis of his, Dino Brewster (Cooper), offers him a chance to refurbish an aged mustang. Once it’s spruced up and ready, they make a cool 2.7 million dollars on it. Tobey could walk off with a quarter of that money…or he could risk it all on a pissing contest…I mean street car race. Also, you know a movie’s boring when I think doing the math on 25% of 2.7 million is more entertaining. By the way it’s $675,000. So what a shock, someone dies in their over 200 mph race. It’s Marshall’s best friend Pete (Harrison Gilbertson). Dino clips him in an attempt to win the race. So what an even bigger shock when Dino, the multi-millionaire entrepreneur gets away with it and the scruffy and haggard looking Tobey is thrown in jail for two years. Considering all his years of putting pedestrian’s lives in danger for his races, this doesn’t seem like enough time in jail.

Regardless, the rest of the movie is a cross country revenge tale, but he doesn’t have a vehicle. So he teams up with a quick witted, blonde British gal by the name of Julia (Poots). She gives gives him the keys to the 2.7 million dollar car that he built and she paid for. I’ll let that sink in.

Just when as I was on the verge of falling asleep from this preposterously dull story, the roar of an engine would awake me up and I’d get to watch another silly chase. Things are made even worse by the fact Michael Keaton is rolled out as the host of a videocast who is putting on a prestigious race, only for underground racers, called the De Leon. How he has the financial means to put this on and how the police haven’t wiretapped him to find these illegal races, I don’t know. The De Leon is Tobey’s one chance at revenge against Dino. This movie could be a great form of escapism if it wasn’t so head shakingly stupid.

Once the well shot chases are done, we’re forced to sit through another dose of bad dialogue and head scratching questions. The biggest one is one of Tobey’s friends, Benny, who has a gig with the military that allows him to “commandeer” any plane or helicopter so he can help Tobey dart through city streets. I could have easily just written a review about all the ludicrous moments in this. It’s a bit maddening why two time Emmy award winning Aaron Paul would jump straight into this after coming off one of the most successful TV series of all time. It makes you wonder what it is he saw in this because I certainly don’t see it.

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  1. Entertainment value based on Audience response below.

    ” Excellent heart pounding underground street racing with over 900 horse power, and 230 + MPH street racing on a mission seeking revenge for a young friends life. IS IT WORTH $ 15 ? YES and YES “. RUSSELL & CISSY, THE PEOPLES MOVIE CRITICS

    Aaron Paul a mechanic, also races muscle-cars in an underground circuit. Dominic Cooper frames Aaron for the death of his friend in a street race and winds up in prison. Two years later, Tobey is out and bent on revenge; his only chance to take down Dominic is to beat him in an illegal high-stakes race set up by Michael Keaton, a philanthropist, where money is the prize and anything goes. But to get there in time, he must successfully run a gauntlet of cops and bounty hunters from New York to San Francisco, which requires Aaron jumping parole.

    On of the most entertaining nude scenes ever, is when Rami Malek quits his pencil pushing job to return to the race team. Probably a scene most of us men would have dreamed to do when it was time to tell the boss ” Takes this job and shove it “.

    Excellent Audience Emotional Responses ( Based on a near to full house ) Time 2:03

    Laughs / Chuckles 76, **Audience Applause 5 times during the movie and at The End

    R & C Warnings : Adult Language (19) no ” fancy” word, Nudity (1), Adult Situations

    Rated PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned

    Studio: Walt Disney – Release Date: March 14, 2014

    RUSSELL & CISSY, THE PEOPLES MOVIE CRITICS rate movies based on Entertainment Value Only. Follow and LIKE us on facebook to receive new movie review alerts. Enter RUSSELL & CISSY, THE PEOPLES MOVIE CRITICS in the facebook search box.


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