This does mean we’re getting that Mario kart 64 movie soon, right?
“Need for Speed” stars Aaron Paul as the hero in a movie based on one of the best selling racing video game franchises of all time. We follow him and some buddies as they not only try to win some races but also right some wrongs. Sure it’s an obvious grab for the large audience that’s fallen in love with all things Fast & Furious, but is there anything beyond the revving engines and speeding automobiles here worth watching? Well,at least Michael Keaton’s in it.
Seriously though, can I just start with that? I’m really digging this Michael Keaton resurgence. Sure he’s just a small role, and sure he plays it a bit too over the top, but man if that dude isn’t compelling to watch on the screen. Keep em coming MK, it’s good to see you again. Other than him? Yeah, it’s pretty much just the racing stuff that works. So let’s just call that the best thing. When the cars are bulleting down roads, dodging alls sorts of obstacles and defying all sense of logic and safety, those are the moments this movie really feels at home. The effects are well done, and the action is shot and presented in a really engaging way. But once the key leaves the ignition the movie just falls apart under its own silliness. Which is really disappointing considering how much I love Aaron Paul from his work on Breaking Bad.
You know I really hate saying this, but I’m really starting to wonder if he will be able to break out of his Jesse coated shell. He’s certainly a talented enough actor, but when you live with a character that long sometimes its impossible to escape. Of course much of that may have to do with the character he’s given in this. I just didn’t like him. Now that might be because the movie seems to load him down with such heavy stuff. I mean I know AP has great drama chops but he can also be really funny right? So why wasn’t that used? Also, it’s hard for me to believe that this hero could have such a strong moral center when every other second he is putting countless lives at risk, and often for no apparent reason. Look, either you’re a good guy forced into a bad situation or you’re a street smart rebel who fears no consequence, you can’t have it both ways. It’s sad too, because at times I really wanted to buy into the primary romantic relationship in the movie, but I just didn’t care enough about them as people. But the worst thing is the lazy plotting and predictable story moments. The set up and delivery of the plot is about as creative and well thought out as mine were when I was playing with my own hot wheels at age 4. Never mind, strike that, I was actually the kind of kid who pretended his hot wheels were driving the speed limit and stopping to say hi to pedestrians, so I’m a bad example, but point being you’ve seen all this before, and at over two hours long, you’ll likely be wishing you had seen it much less.
At the end of the day, “Need for Speed” succeeds only in as much as you love the action, crashes, chases, and races. But the blandness and predictability outside the vehicle brings it crashing to a C-
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