Premise: Aaron Paul stars as Chase Racerman (Ok, I forgot the character’s actual name), a mechanic who is also like the BEST driver EVER. He gets framed for manslaughter by Derek Evildriver (also forgot character name), and when he gets out of prison, he immediately hits the road to try to get to a race which is the most important race EVER, against Derek Evildriver, with the actual stakes of the race being something they either never mentioned or was said so quietly that I didn’t hear it. But he has to get from New York to California in 45 hours, so as the title proclaims, there is most certainly a *need* for *speed*. It’s a cross-country road trip movie where Chase Racerman is able to avoid getting arrested in every single state somehow, probably because he is like the BEST driver EVER. Sure, the movie has a bunch of flaws, but considering that it’s based off a game by Electronic Arts, that was to be expected (high fives a row of video game nerds).
-The biggest draw of the movie, the super fast car racing, was… (gives 10 second over-exaggerated shrug while making a Robert DeNiro squint face and nodding) It was pretty decent. Pretty decent. A lot of interesting camera work, I suppose.
-I went to this movie out of respect for Aaron Paul’s new movie career, which I didn’t want to end after Need for Speed. He was very Aaron Paul-y in it. That’s a good thing. Take my $7, Hollywood. Let him make a few more movies, please.
-I can’t say much about her as an actress, she’s alright I guess, but I will never *not* enjoy Imogen Poots’ name.
-Now THAT’S how you have Michael Keaton on your set filming for one day, and stretch it out over the whole movie.
-I guess for a 130 minute movie about stuff I’m not generally interested in, it wasn’t really boring.
-OK, like there’s this one scene when all the Ford Mustangs are like racing on like a highway, and like they drive past this like middle-aged guy who is driving like a Pontiac Firebird, and he like thinks he’s really cool, but they like show his speedometer and he’s only going like 60 mph, because Firebirds are like a total joke car or something…? Am I right, my fellow gearheads?!?!?! (SLAMS PEDAL 2/10THS TO THE MEDAL, PUNCHES 2005 HYUNDAI SONATA TO 38 MPH, USES TURN SIGNALS WHEN PASSING FELLOW MOTORISTS, FLASHES “ROCK ON” HAND GESTURE WHILE WAVING TONGUE WILDLY)
-I’m a little disappointed that this film wasn’t titled NEED 4 SPEED, with the “D’s” being misshapen tires. I hope they at least call the sequel NEED 2 SPEED, confusing everyone as to why 2 comes after 4.
-So this big race, The De Leon (?), that they hype up for the entire movie as this enormous important race, ends up just being six cars? What? And it’s an illegal street race? Huh? Why does this interest *anyone* not involved in the race? They never even say how much or what you win if you finish. And there’s basically a 100% chance that you’ll be arrested for participating. Why would any of the racers choose to be involved?? WHY? TELL ME WHY? (takes deep breath) (composes self) Just forget it, Scott. It’s Need for Speed.
-Ya know what, just kind of throw most conventional logic out the car window.
-Chase Racerman’s posse of comic relief friends sort of got on my nerves. There should be a limit on how many wise cracking bros you can write into a single action movie script.
-I just realized that, although there was a “love interest” in this movie, Racerman never kisses the girl. There is NO smooching in this movie! WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THAT?
-The MOMENT we are introduced to Racerman’s young, clean-cut, super positive friend, I just *knew* this guy was going to die sometime in the first act. AND HE DID. I don’t consider that a spoiler, because if you can’t see that coming, then I’ll assume you’ve never watched a movie before. HOW ELSE WILL RACERMAN BECOME FILLED WITH RAGE, IF HIS IDEALISTIC FRIEND DOESN’T DIE?
-It kind of bothered me, probably on some weird psychological level, that I noticed most of the cars in this movie didn’t have door handles.
Final Thoughts: If there existed an institution of generic movies, like movies that are neither incredibly bad nor remotely good, let’s call it The Academy of Generic Films and Sciences; Need for Speed would be a front runner for Best Generic Picture of 2014. At least one of the 10 nominees. I assume the awards ceremony would be hosted by James Marsden, and the big award would be given out by Sam Worthington.
6 out of 10