Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Movie Review: "Need For Speed" (2014)

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Movie"Need For Speed"
Director: Scott Waugh
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a mechanic and car swooper-upper, is struggling to pay the bills to keep his dad's auto shop afloat after his dad passes away. Presented with an opportunity to work on a rare car in the hands of Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), a rich professional NASCAR driver and all-around dick from the same town, Tobey reluctantly agrees. One thing leads to another, and during a street race between Tobey, Dino, and Tobey's friend Pete (Harrison Gilbertson), things go south and Toby is framed for manslaughter. 2 years later and after he has served his time, Tobey is released from jail and is out for revenge against Dino. He needs to find a way to make it across the country to California and into the De Leon, a super exclusive winner-take-all race, put on by DJ Monarch (Michael Keaton). 

All I needed to hear was "Yeah, bitch!" ONE TIME. Aaron Paul couldn't even do that for me.

So, movies about cars and car chases are, admittedly, not my thing (especially if they aren't done well). I was fake excited for this film many months ago, and every single time its trailer came on during a movie, BigJ would just roll his eyes at me. Well, that fake excitement morphed into genuine "need to see" this feels. I had my hopes up. I am sort of unsatisfied with how it left me feeling. Nah...that's not even true, I should have known better. BigJ and I had a feeling this movie wouldn't be that good. But, then again, what movie based on a video game is that good? (Yeah, YOUR HEARD ME, I said "Pokemon: The Movie 2000")

Between the strange orangish tint overlayed across the entire movie, the cheesy one-liners from "50 but acting 25" Michael Keaton's character, and the (surprising) lack of "Yeah, bitch!"es, this movie was a bummer. The car chases and explosions were all real and were pretty awesome to watch the first few times, but as the movie dragged on through a 130 minute screen time, it starts to get a little tiresome. It was just one scene after another of implausible, repetitive, well, for lack of a better word, vroom-vrooming. Aside from the main two actors, Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper, it was almost embarrassing to watch the other members of Paul's group of friends, sometimes it was cringe-worthy to watch how bad their acting skills were. Where did those guys even come from?

This movie is nothing really new. It's the same rehashed story of two people and their never-ending grudge, their subsequent quest for revenge, and to see who has the bigger......well, you know. Add fast and expensive cars, pretty girls, fierce stares, jail time, and a race against the clock to prove your innocence into the mix, and you've got yet another film in a long line of movies that were over-hyped and under-performing, many of which are better than this one. It's not necessarily boring, but it's definitely plagued with flaws and seems to drag on and on a lot of the time.

Let's be real for a second. The writer and director tried to shove way too much story into this movie to compensate for the fact that it's a glorified, 2 hour-long Ford commercial featuring Jesse Pinkman and that one guy from "Mamma Mia!". Enough said.

Aaron Paul, don't disappoint me like this again.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~24%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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