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NEED FOR SPEED
I do not conduct a great deal of research before I see a film. I avoid trailers, commercials etc. as I like to go in fresh with as little knowledge as possible to keep things fresh. Imagine my surprise when I walk into the screening and I am given 3D glasses. I had no idea the film was in 3D. As the film begins I see a logo on the screen that says EA Films. Hmm. EA? Isn’t that a video game maker? And then it dawn on me that I was about to watch a film based on video game! This is not going to be pretty.
This is one of the dumbest films I have seen in a long time and remember folks I see a lot of films. It is full of many plot holes and improbable events that it is laughable. At first glance it would appear to be a rip-off of the FAST AND FURIOUS series however it owes more to SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT and VANISHING POINT. It wishes it was as good as those films as the basic premise of the film makes absolutely no sense. Street racer Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is sent prison after being wrongly accused of causing the death of his friend in a street-racing accident. A very basic police investigation would have ruled him out a suspect. After being released he participates in an underground race which would require him to get from New York to San Francisco in two days to avenge the death of his friend. How does that avenge the death of his friend? I do not know. This issue is the least of this film's problems. At the start of the film there is a big issue made of Tobey and his band of buddies being manipulated into fixing Tobey’s rival Dino’s (Dominic Cooper) rare Ford Mustang. Typically in films of this type we get a “fixing the car” montage, but no not this film. The next scene the car is fixed, souped up, and on display at an auto show. How long did it take them to fix it? Were there any issues? The film does not bother to tell us. One of the characters Bennie (Kid Cudi) is a pilot and plays lookout from the air for his street racing buddies. How does he afford to maintain a plane? The film never bothers to tell us. Throughout the course of the film Bennie is seen flying three different types of aircrafts as Tobey travels cross country to participate in the underground race. How does he do this? How is he able to land and take off at will? The film never bothers to tell us. Another of Tobey’s pals has left New York and now lives and works in Detroit in a typical high rise office building. Tobey calls him on his cell and tells him to go to the window and what do you know he goes directly to the correct window that will allow him to see Tobey below. How does he know which window to go to? You get the point.
The only asset in the film is the lack of CGI used for the racing sequences. That seems to be a good selling point but with a weak script it negates the sometimes impressive stunts. However this is one crash that is pivotal to the film that seems to be in bad taste as it echoes the death of FAST AND FURIOUS star Paul Walker. While the filmmakers have no obligation to do so they should have been more sensitive to this aspect and figure out a way to edit the sequence so that is not so eerily similar to a real life event. The acting in this film is average at best and the only actor that is able to bring life to the proceedings is Michael Keaton who plays radio host Monarch, who also happens to be the sponsor of the race competition. Keaton has the good fortune to appear in all of his scenes alone so he does not have to interact with the rest of the cast.
This film is flat out stupid. On the bright side the 3D is actually done well but not well enough for me to recommend this film. The plot holes are too numerous and it shows that the filmmakers did not care to actually make a good story. The story is just an excuse to showcase hot cars in action. If that is your thing that by all means see this film. Those that care about plot, characters and plausibility should look elsewhere. You will leave this film with more questions and this is not the type of film in which that should occur. Skip this film and play the video game instead. It probably has a better story than this mess.