Review: Need for Speed

Would-be Fast and Furious franchise competitor Need for Speed does not do itself any favours by inviting comparisons to old school car movies like Bullitt – which the characters actually watch in one scene – it only serves to highlight the pretentiousness of the new film.

The worst thing an action movie can have is delusions of grandeur, and Need for Speed saps most of the fun out of the experience with a self-serious tone it is never able to justify.

Former Breaking Bad bitch Aaron Paul must be one of the most adored actors in the world right now, but he is unfortunately miscast in a role that anyone would’ve struggled with. The ostensible camaraderie between Paul’s Tobey and his ‘boys’ (Kid Cudi; Roman Rodriguez; Rami Malek) is strained, and Tobey’s ‘measure of a man’ story arc is often laughable.

The drama in this film makes early Beverly Hills 90210 look like The Sopranos – it’s nearly impossible to take any of it seriously, and the plot rarely makes any real world sense.

None of which would matter if the action delivered, but I was left wanting in this arena also. There are lots of nice shiny cars to look at, and it’s admirable I suppose that the filmmakers commited themselves to as little CGI as possible, but the auto carnage lacks flair or creativity. I cannot say I ever once felt the titular need.

This film also loses points for casting the great Michael Keaton in a central role, then keeping him behind a desk for the painfully drawn-out running time. Disappointing.

‘Need for Speed’ Movie Times (also in 3D)