Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Need for Speed
** out of ****
This movie is so close to horrible, but unlike a lot of B-movies with A-budgets, it delivers the goods. The story is dumb and never had me invested, no matter how many melodramatic manipulations it used... But damn, it had some great car chases.
No matter how much expensive CGI Disney chose to use in this movie, the car stunts look to be the genuine element on the screen. Aaron Paul and competent co-stars like Imogen Poots and Rami Malek humanize the story to a certain degree and Michael Keaton's Skyped-in hammed-up role varies between funny and lame.
This is potentially a guilty pleasure. If you have a good sound system at home, crank-up the volume and turn your brain down. You will be investing in over two-hours of loud moronic high-speed nonsense. Anyone with a moral compass should question the attempt to portray illegal car-racers as righteous. The best movies in this genre, embrace the amoral sleaziness of that world -even through the protagonists. Its the only way to justify people who have little regard for the collateral damage they cause.
Also, the motivations of the characters are always connected with a problem that could probably be solved more practically by some other means than a high-stakes car-race challenge. Need for Speed has something going for it, but lacks the courage to embrace its characters' illogical deviance and wastes time in a pathetic attempt to rationalize it.
Still. Great stunts.