Need For Speed (2014)
Director: Scott Waugh
This movie had two big hooks in my house, for my wife it was the fact that she was a huge fan of this video game growing up. To me, it was a chance to see Aaron Paul, fresh off his star making role of Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad get a chance to headline a big budget feature film. In the end, we were both more than a little underwhelmed. This movie is an obvious paint by numbers video game action movie that features a story that could easily by blocked up into playable missions in a GTA like video game. You have the telegraphed set up for revenge with a person important to the main character being killed early in the story, and the only way to gain revenge is for our hero to beat the evil villain in a huge outlaw Race at the end of the film. Imagine ‘Drive’ (2011) (which ironically enough featured Bryan Cranston in a major supporting role) if it had been stripped of all of its character nuance and instead was just shot to appeal more to the Transformers crowd and also to serve as a high budget piece of advertisement for various major automotive companies (the product placements here are non-stop.
That said, as far as achieving those goals, ‘Need For Speed’ is mostly acceptable, even if it is laughably cliché. It’s not that I didn’t like it, it just passed before my eyes and out of my mind so far that I knew if I did not write my review fairly quickly all the major information of the film would be erased from my memory to make room for other stuff that was actually worth remembering. My favorite character in the movie was Michael Keaton playing an outlaw radio DJ who does play by play for the aforementioned big illegal races. He alone got to show some actual personality here. If it were up to me, I would re-write the movie with him as the main villain instead of the forgettable one we actually got.