Movie: Need For Speed
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: Tobey Marshall (Aaron “Yo Bitch” Paul of Breaking Bad fame) is the drag race king of Mt Kisco, NY. He owns a small shop that specializes in high performance automobiles, but is behind in his loan payments to the bank. Enter Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) with a sweet offer that will cure Tobey’s money woes; all he has to do is put together a Shelby Mustang GT 500, and test drive it at 230 MPH. Marshall and his shop crew put the Shelby together, and Marshall cranks it up to 234 MPH, and the car is sold for a hefty price tag of 2 million dollars. All Marshall has to do is pocket the $500,000 fee coming to him, but Dino pushes him into a sucker bet: put your fee up and I’ll put my 1.5 mil on the line, and winner take all. Out come 3 Koenigsegg Agera R_2 machines, and off go Dino, Tobey and Marshall’s pal Little Pete careening down a city highway at suicidal speeds. Somehow, Marshall finds himself in the slammer for two years as a result of that little road race, and the day he gets out he is launching himself into entering into the semi-mystical race, the Deleon.
Only the 6 best racers get invited to the Deleon, and only by a personal invite of the race organizer Monarch. The mysterious and wealthy Monarch (Michael Keaton) somehow monitors a lengthy cross-country trip by Marshall and Julia Madden (Imogen Poots) in the famous Shelby Mustang, but Tobey has trouble meeting the race deadline because all sorts of badasses are trying to stop Marshall and collect a bounty on him. But have no fear, Tobey Marshall is not to be denied, and makes it to the starting line of the Deleon. Then 6 superior automobiles barrel along to the conclusion of this high octane demolition derby of a movie. The film is pretty run of the mill plot-wise. It is more or less a combination of Smokey and the Bandit transitioning into a modern version of the chariot race from Ben Hur.
DreamWorks bankrolled this movie, and they spared no expense in providing amazing automobiles to perform hair-raising stunts and high speed smash-ups. This film will appeal to adrenaline junkies and car aficianados.
Huh? What The….: During one chase sequence, the super Shelby Mustang (the one capable of hauling along at 234 MPH) gets caught from behind and rear-ended by a P.O.S. Ford pick-up truck? Really?
Marshall, in one of the many chase scenes, decides it is time to execute “the Grasshopper” in the incredibly expensive and finely tuned Shelby Mustang, which turned out to be a stunt where he takes the car airborne for about 100 feet (a la The Dukes of Hazard), and drives away with no apparent ill effects to the vehicle. Yeah, right.
Actor To Watch: The small but key role from Michael Keaton raised this movie by 1/2 a star. His manic performance as Monarch with a rapid fire commentary during the Deleon was a pleasure to watch.
Dialogue Nuggets: Monarch disparaging the police who were pursuing the Deleon racers: “Racers should race, cops should eat donuts”!