Is Need for Speed (2014) really that slow?
Need for Speed seems to have a good premise but more than six critics I’ve read call this movie a “slog”. What’s a slog? It’s a really slow movie. But this is a racing flick, right? It has fast cars. It has a Ford Mustang as it’s main star. They filmed in the Motor City and flew down Woodward. How is that boring?
This movie stars Aaron Paul as Tobey Marshall, out to prove that he didn’t really kill his best buddy, while he tries to navigate a love triangle, keep his car in one piece, and deal with Imagen Poots before his head blows up. The plot is also kinda dumb.
Tobey has to get his Ford Mustang to California in 45 hours so he can join Michael Keaton’s fancypants illegal street race, so he makes like a chicken on fire and gets there using an Apache helicopter and 30 minutes of runtime. Trust me, it’s improbable but I guess it’s fun. After he strides into town like a badass, his evil nemesis runs his car over, trashing the priceless Shelby. It’s a Ford Mustang, the star of the movie. And they trash it. I really wanted to see more of that car.
I think another mistake is that they wasted Michael Keaton. His role is a glorified cameo at best, and he doesn’t do anything of note, besides be a human plot device to give Tobey a race. Imogen Poots isn’t that good in her role either and some of her scenes make no sense, or better dialogue for her or something. Also, the climax is way too short. Hey, at least it has a climax, unlike some movies.
What’s the verdict? I honestly don’t know where these critics are coming from. This isn’t a bore. The original Fast and Furious movie is probably better, but Need for Speed isn’t the horrible stinker all the critics say it is. It’s got all those things that made The Fast and the Furious a blockbuster. The action. The hot cars. A nice looking girl. Men getting pissed off at each other. All of that. And to top it off, it has a LOT of racing. Okay, the plot is dumb, but Vin Diesel is just as bad with his dialogue as Dominic Cooper, and hey, are you watching this movie for the plot or the symbolism? No. This is an old-school action flick and it’s got Ford Mustangs galore. Why did this not make it’s money back? It’s all been done before I guess, and that’s too bad.