Need for Speed – Surprise Movie Review Friday!

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If you love the rumble, the grumble, the roar and growl for big block engines and wide piped exhausts. The screeching and screaming of tires gripping and turning around corners to shave milliseconds during a high speed race. The glistening, gleaming, glittering paint on fast, strong, beautiful American muscle. Need for Speed should certainly  be the top on your “Need to See” movie list.

Now let me start by saying I may be a girly girl and know the slightest thing about cars but I do know a lot about movies and about what I like. I love old school American muscle and the majority of this movie was full of glorious and gorgeous American made cars from Dodge, Chevy and Ford.  I don’t even like Ford’s but the Mustangs in this movie made me drop my side-eye and feel all tingly inside. Near the end of the film the American cars seemed to have disappeared and high end, multi-million dollar European vehicles popped up left and right. The race scenes were full of shaky-camera effects making it seem like you were in the driver’s seat while twisting and flying down open streets which was an added bonus having seen it in 3D. Although the 3D didn’t add too much to the experience, meaning it wouldn’t be needed to shell out the extra couple bucks per ticket.

The acting could have been better but for an action movie it exceeded my expectations. The story line was weak, but I always enjoy a good revenge plot. It was a little muddled as to why the two lead characters had such a rivalry. The viewer is just supposed to “know why” and even though new reasons arise their back-story could have been explained in depth so it would make more sense. Early on in the film, like within the first 15 minutes,*SPOILER ALERT* the entire movie was predicted by one of the main characters. Foreshadowing is usually rather subtle but director Scott Waugh doesn’t understand subtlety very well.

It was nice seeing Aaron Paul not being a crackhead but he doesn’t play vengeance filled racer nearly as well as a tweaking drug addict. Imogen Poots was adorable and British and the supporting cast was around for tons of well placed laughs and much needed comic relief that kept the film rolling smoothly. The villain was  outlandishly evil and Michael Keaton plays crazy millionaire well, I mean come on now, he’s Beetlejuice. Time and space were used interchangeably because there were moments I thought, “Holy crap. How’d he get there so fast?” Or “Really?” Streets in bustling cities were almost always empty and cops were practically non-existent in rural towns and even in some larger cities. Of course during the important, climaxing, super charged race scenes cops swarmed the screen but not surprisingly were horrible at high speed pursuits.

If you’re going in expecting a newer faster version of the video game or an alternative to the Fast & Furious franchise you may be disappointed. However, overall this film was unexpectedly a fun joy ride and chalked full of fast paced, high intensity race scenes, obvious romantic situations, funny comic relief and beautifully loud cars. I’d suggest going into this film open minded.

Rating: B+

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