Good day to all who may be reading this blog, today I’m finally getting around to talking about one of my most anticipated films of the year, Need For Speed. Now I love car chases in films and I love Aaron Paul, honestly it is a win-win situation with those two points alone. At first I thought the idea of NFS film was absurd, but once the first trailer hit, it had me. All the interviews about this film and the use of practical effects only heightened my anticipation for the film… But I knew in the back of my mind that the film could go one of two ways; it could be really good or really bad. So which is it? Well read on and find out!
So the premise for the story goes like this:
“Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross-country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.”
I thought the story was pretty good, if a little predictable and far-fetched at times. The key themes of vengeance and justice are definitely presented at the forefront of the film in a great way. I thought the story would just be some half-assed attempt at justifying the driving of cars, but it is decent, has some moments of drama, humour and it knows it’s car jargon very well too. At the center of the film is the rivalry between two Tobey and Dino and it feels so real and really drives the plot along. The best way to describe this film is what the Fast & Furious films would be if they had a little more realism. And even though this film isn’t based on any of the games from the series, I definitely see shades of NFS Most Wanted, Carbon and Hot Pursuit coming to mind.
As for the cast they are all pretty good with some standing out more so than others. Firstly Aaron Paul is great as Tobey Marshall, you can see this is a man who got fucked over by his enemy and now he’s out for blood. While this isn’t his best work, you can definitely see his heart was in the right place as he is just as you can see the emotion in his face when the drama’s going on, but there are the little things like the way he talks or has tiny mannerisms that remind me a lot of Jesse Pinkman. Dominic Cooper is pretty cool as Dino Brewster, this guy is a business man who can talk the talk but can’t necessarily walk the walk as he definitely tells a few lies here and there. Cooper plays the sort of generic bad guy, but he does it with enough style and charisma to make it acceptable and believable. Imogen Poots is also good as Julia Maddon, at first her character comes across as a bit of a snobby know-it-all, but you do grow to like her personality traits as this smart and capable woman.
Scott Mescudi as Benny is great, this guy is pretty much the main source of humour as he’s always cracking jokes, but outside of that he is a great pilot and seems to come through for Tobey when he needs him. Mescudi was a nice addition to the film and while the role doesn’t show off any deep acting talent, he was good in the film I hope to see him in more films. Ramón Rodríguez is cool as Joe Peck, he’s a man who knows his stuff is always keeping things together plan-wise. Rami Malek as Finn is cool and a great source of humour outside of Benny’s jokes. Michael Keaton is amazing as Monarch, he’s this eccentric host of a secret supercar race competition and he has a great way with words as he always has something to say. He’s witty, opinionated, weird and awesome all and the same time and I think this may be my favourite role I’ve seen from Keaton in a while.I also liked Harrison Gilbertson as Little Pete Coleman, he was the light-hearted cheeky member of Tobey’s group who was the youngest of the bunch. And lastly Dakota Johnson is good as Anita Coleman even if she’s a bit underused.
When it comes to the visual presentation, my god, it is amazing. If you’re a fan of 1970’s car chases then this gives you the modern-day equivalent. The car driving scenes are raw, intense, well-shot, incredibly choreographed and it just a drill to watch. You see and hear cars drift, screech, flip, twist and glide all over the place with great precision. To see some of the camera shots from inside the cars, then on the outside with a tracking shot and then with the POV shots as the cars get massacred, it is incredible. So good.
In conclusion Need For Speed is very fun and exhilarating film. The plot while not unlike material you have seen before and it does get a bit ridiculous at times, it is still pretty good and is amplified by the cast who are all good, especially my man Aaron Paul. But the stars of the film really is the cars and the chaotic action that is filmed SO well, it simply gorgeous to look at. While some may hate on this film, especially since it doesn’t outdo the Fast 5 & 6, it is still a solid action film.
Rating: 8/10 (A very solid film full of kick ass car action)
So what did you think of Need For Speed? Have you seen it or are you gonna see it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. :D