Based on the popular video game series, “Need for Speed” starring Aaron Paul tries to take audiences on a fast paced thrill ride; however it ends up being a cliché filled bore of a film. Directed by Scott Waugh and presented in 3D for some strange reason, its leading man played by Paul is a stoic young racer who goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (cliché) and vows to take out his enemy at a big race put on by a billionaire.
Paul’s performance is surprisingly not that great. He is a man of few words and it just doesn’t feel like he can hold the weight of an entire film on his shoulders just yet. Everyone else in the film is forgettable, too. There is a girl who gets taken along with Paul across country to the big final race (cliché.) There is the bad guy that makes things personal early in the film and he must be beaten (cliché.) There is Michael Keaton showing up in another film for a small role in which he only appears on a computer screen as the founder and man in charge of the final race known as The DeLeon.
Keaton is actually the only fun thing in the film. He brings some much needed energy and comedy to a movie that is otherwise too self serious and boring. With that said, the cinematography is interesting at times. There are some shots from inside the car that give us a point of view perspective when the car is going 200 miles per hour. That is fun and exciting, however most of the time we are just watching a person drive and give weird facial expressions. This was a lost opportunity, in my opinion, because if you are going to base a movie off of a video game, give us the feeling that we are seeing the video game come to life. What do I know?
The sound is another thing that is hit or miss, but mostly misses. The music they pick and the overall score is actually pretty good, however they try to find any place they can to let a car rev its engine so loud that the speakers in the theater start to shake. Another thing that is not needed, yet I expected it for some reason.
There is room left for a sequel, which I was disappointed to see because I think this should be a one and done series. The producers and other people that made the film had intentions to make a less dramatic and more fun version of the “Fast and Furious” films and failed. That’s okay, Aaron Paul isn’t someone you can build a franchise around and the others in the film aren’t people that will draw audiences. The film shouldn’t have been done in 3D and was full of things we’ve seen before in better films and better screenplays. I beg everyone involved, please cut your losses and move on to something new.
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