Swanner: Need for Speed is the kind of film that makes me sound and feel old. Here we have a film about street racing and, even with all the amazing stunts and cinematography, all that ran through my mind was how dangerous all of this is. After being released from prison from a fatal street racing incident, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) seeks revenge against Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), the third driver who left his friend to die during a race. This overly long movie was directed by Scott Waugh, whose past as a stuntman comes in handy for an action picture, but the film comes across cold and emotionless. Script by first time writer George Gatins is based on some videogame.
Judd: Some videogame? How about the videogame of the same name, gramps?! One of the most successful videogame franchises ever. I actually can’t argue with you too much here, because I also felt that the movie was a bit irresponsible with its depictions of street racing and the movie was entirely too long, crossing the finish line at 2 hours and 10 minutes. However, as a gearhead myself, the race scenes are phenomenal and very realistic, as compared to the horrible Fast and Furious franchise, and the drives are the most exciting since the chase movies of the 60s and 70s.
Swanner: Oh my… that is embarrassing, considering I sell videogames during the day. Grand Theft Auto I know, but not Need for Speed. As you can tell, I was bored big time. I was either cringing at the recklessness or yawning at the incredible lack of caring. I did find it amusing that everyone in the film was as tall as or shorter than Aaron Paul. According to IMDB, he’s 5’8”, so we’ll call him 5’6”. I thought we were watching the last of the Hobbit movies. I can’t really comment on the acting because there was only ever two emotions, cheering because you’re winning or grimacing because you caused a fatal accident.
Judd: Following in the tradition of the great car movies, Need for Speed has a horrible, barebones script with countless plot holes, but the movie isn’t about the story; it’s about the cars. The first portion of the movie features some great, old Detroit steel and the star of the movie is not Aaron Paul, but his heavily modified 2014 Mustang. You already mentioned the amazing cinematography, but the sound design also needs kudos. The aural detail was fantastic; the whine of the Mustang’s supercharger, the rumble of his buddy’s diesel truck, even the thunk of a closing door. The movie was obviously made by car people for car people.
Swanner: I understood very little of what you just said, so I’ll just agree with you. This is a movie for people who like cars, especially racing cars. I only ask for a radio and air conditioning, so this film has too many extras for me. My favorite part of the film was making fun of it on the way home. This is definitely a wait-for-video movie for anyone that isn’t a car person. It was great seeing Aaron Paul post Breaking Bad, but he’s a much better actor than this action fare allows.
Judd: As the owner of a 470 horsepower muscle car, I liked the car scenes, but I couldn’t help feel that the movie is irresponsible. Street racing is dangerous and the realness of the scenes almost seemed designed to inspire shenanigans by younger viewers. Our “hero” caused accidents too numerous to count and never considered his actions. At least in the old days, the Bandit and Kowalski were causing grief to the fuzz, not your Everyday Joe on the road; there was no collateral damage. Add to the irresponsible message a horrible script and bloated runtime, and Need for Speed isn’t a very good movie, but dammit those driving scenes are awesome!
Swanner: 1 ½ Stars
Judd: 2 Stars