Need For Speed (2014) – Review

Just a quick one this. I mean how much can you really say about it. Ooh shiny, shiny and don’t they go fast. A film taking its inspiration from a game is never the wisest move. Sometimes, although not often, it can pay off, but more often than not, it’s generally believed to be a stupendously bad idea. Aaron Paul’s decision to follow up his Breaking Bad stint with this is one of the reasons this will have got the nod in the first place, and without him, it would have been even more one-dimensional than it ended up being anyway.

And a film about a motor race has been done and done again. The Fast & Furious franchise has bewildered those cinema fans that have little or no interest in automobiles of a grunty muscle nature. Here, the cars may be a little more sleek on the whole, but this is still just a movie about racing cars.

Threatening for much of its running time to be remembered as The Cannonball Run without the comedy stylings of Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise, Need For Speed spends too much of its time getting to the race that everyone really wants to see by introducing characters that are then never really utilised to the extent that an introduction even seemed necessary. The leads, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots work well off each other and the chemistry between the two is nice to see, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t see why they cast Poots as the potential love interest. Moreover, I am confused as to why she agreed to it. Perhaps she has a secret passion for fast cars, or the games franchise upon which the film is based. Regardless, this pairing worked far better than expected.

A simple story of road tripping from one side of the States to another to take part in a winner takes all race featuring obscenely expensive cars. Cue all of the screeching tyres and rumbling engines, breakneck car chases and the destruction of what I am reliably informed is some truly beautiful examples of flashy mechanical engineering. There is a bit of a story, convoluted though it may seem, to fit in with the real premise of showing off on four wheels. Arch nemesis Dominic Miller is suitably straight-faced, yet never really evil enough for you to wish a quick death for into an immovable object.

If you’re a big lover of fast cars, then this might pique your interest. It is nice to look at and largely inoffensive if not entirely unique or original. The story is simple, as it probably should be, given its target demographic, so actual cinephiles will probably be best keeping it at arms length.

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