copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

OK ladies and gentlemen, please pick what you want to see in this movie:


1. A movie, with story and characters 2. Racing and destruction of cool cars


If you opt for No 1, then imagine a big loud buzzer suddenly startle you because you picked the wrong answer and may be severely disappointed by this movie. Though, what do you expect going into a racing game adaptation called "Need for Speed"?


If you are here for the 2nd option then…well, imagine a slightly less loud buzzer ring a little. That is because you will have to sit through a lot of bad filler before you will get to the good parts. In fact, Need For Speed is only Need for Speed in the last 20 minutes or so, while the first part of the movie is muddied with a dumb plot. Perhaps it is better if you wait until all the action bits from the movie get cut up into a 5 minute video somewhere on the internet and watch that instead.


Aaron Paul, who plays the main hero, made it into the spotlight after the show Braking Bad, but to this day I do not understand the appeal. I have not watched a lot of Breaking Bad, but in what I did watch, this guy was an annoying spastic paper-thin character whose range was between cussing and being a silent background to whatever Bryan Cranston had to say in the foreground. And in Need for Speed he is the most generic and boring good guy. Yes, the man can act, but the makers of this film haven't given him much to do with that ability.


Then there is a number of side characters. Rami Malek as one of our hero's crew members is kind of adorable when he gets his own scene, but that just underlines the fact that he should not be in this movie. Then there is Michael Keaton as the underground race organizer who chews the scenery wonderfully, which it all the more sad that he does not get more airtime in this movie. The rest of the crew, especially the pair of boobs played by Julia Maddon as the main hero's secondary love interest, are pointless and even a little annoying. Can hardly remember any of their faces. Regardless of their personal appeal, the dialogue given to all of them is so bland that Keaton is the only one who can sell it.


As for the story, it is so disjointed, flat and full of illogical events that you will be begging for the movie to finally get to the good part: the driving. The scenes shot from first-person view look especially good. They should do them more often in movies. Expensive cars flying around and causing destruction is always fun to watch and this movie has that. It gets really pretty when the full blown racing takes place in a forested area. Made me want to play a Need for Speed game again.


Frankly, that is all that this movie needed to be: just some racing with fun music playing in the background…though not trance. I know trance would be fun if you were driving the car, but not if you are watching it…sorry, I'm digressing. The point is, unfortunately, every time the movie finally gets to the driving part, the story wrestles its way back in and really…slows…things…doooooown.


Considering this is movie is a game adaptation, it is not a bad one. There have been far worse. Sadly, this is also its downside. If it was terrible we could have at least laughed at it. People could have made funny video reviews about it, ripping it apart bit by ugly bit. Instead, it is just an average movie with some cool cars mixed in. I think the Making of Need for Speed will be remembered more than the Need for Speed.


At least these people did not go down the path of the macho hip-hop culture of the Fast and Furious films and I thank them for that.

Need for Speed