Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Well, that was some dumb fun. Dumb is fun, or can be. Need for Speed felt a bit like a B+ or re-done version of The Fast & The Furious (the original), which is a ridiculous-but-fun movie that led to a series that has done OK for itself, last we checked. A worldwide gross of $788,679,850 for Fast & Furious 6? My guess is there might be more trouble corralling an actor of Aaron Paul’s caliber going forward for as many sequels as the F&F franchise, but NFS actually turned a neat profit on a fairly tame budget for a movie crashing cars (This movie was panned and only brought back 2/3 of its $66 million budget in the US – but raked in over $200 million worldwide? Forget the rankings, those numbers smell like a straight-to-DVD sequel with an actor more in price range than the former Mr. Pinkman.). Enough of my movie math musings, on to the questionnaire:
Should I pay to see it?
Nah, save your money. Unless you are a car fanatic or love this game, I cannot imagine it being worth your troubles. Need for Speed seems, to me, the perfect type of movie to have on in the background of something else. A party? A fantasy draft? Less-than-taxing homework, better known as busywork? The movie will entertain: it boasts pretty cars, pretty people, pretty landscapes and some legitimately cool action sequences. I merely recommend you wait until it pops up on TV for free.
Could I watch it with a date?
Certainly. People need some mindless flashy fun now and again. This movie could easily pass the time on the couch with a special someone. Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots and the overall cast are attractive, with those two leads literally having a discussion on who has prettier blue eyes. The cars are probably the best actors in NFS, but it’s all nice to look at these objects, both human and machine do what they do best: look good.
A further note: Kid Cudi is obviously amazing, though having never really played the game I am not sure what his character’s deal is? Regardless, he amuses me and takes various helicopters, culminating in HIM RESCUING POOTS AND PAUL (a great band name) IN AN APACHE HELICOPTER OFF A CLIFF. I put that in all caps just so I knew you understood that Kid Cudi saves Aaron Paul in a sa-weet car with an Apache Helicopter.
Could I watch it with my mother?
This is a emphatic ‘yes,’ if your mother is a gearhead. Otherwise, I’m going to make this easy: no. I cannot imagine anyone’s mom enjoying this silliness. Any random 14 boy? Yes. Any one of their mothers? Probably not. There is one redeeming quality both parents & kids can appreciate: who doesn’t love Michael Keaton being absurd, talking funny and chewing scenery?! He hams it up in a side/commentator role and, as always, is weird and entertaining.
This movie will never ever ever ever be mentioned as a pinnacle of cinema but take a good look at that ridiculous face above. Sometimes a movie is bad. Sometimes it is dumb. Sometimes a movie is bad and dumb and that makes it fun. Enjoy Need for Speed at your leisure. It will be on FX soon enough.
…and here’s Aaron Paul as a young man on The Price is Right: