Need For Speed – Need For Story, Need For Dialogue – Review

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Courtesy DreamWorks and Disney

It’s The Cannonball Run minus Dom DeLuise!  But, it turns out Dom DeLuise is the key to that whole formula working.  Who knew?

Aaron Paul stars as Tobey Marshall – a great driver from the wrong side of the tracks in Mount Kisco, NY.  Tobey never escaped this town and made it big, even though he might have been the greatest racer who ever lived.  Of course, his fiercest rival, the slimy Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), did make it out and he made it big as a Formula One driver who raced at the Indy 500.

Now, Tobey needs money to save his family business, and decides to enter into a deal with his nemesis.   However, the evil Dino double crosses our hero, and frames him for a horrendous crime.

Upon getting out of jail, Tobey pursues justice as he attempts to get invited to participate in a highly lucrative and illegal underground race where he could defeat Dino and prove his innocence.  It’s not for glory and prize winnings.  This time it is personal!

Who will win the race?

Along with feeling the Need for Speed, I was feeling the need for dialogue, the need for a good story, and the need for characters who are more than one-dimensional.

One couple who sat directly in front of me brought their 4-year old daughter to see this movie.  While that means they should be slapped for such horrendous judgment, I did have to laugh as the young child predicted EVERY SINGLE twist and turn in the “plot”.

Yes, I am putting “plot” in quotation marks because the real “plot” of Need for Speed is thus:

Chase and/or Race Scene.

Some talking that means nothing.

Another Chase and/or Race Scene.

More ridiculous, pointless talking, this time between the pretty girl and the lead (because we have to have a love story?).

Another Chase and/or Race Scene.

More talking that leaves you hoping and yearning for another Chase and/or Race Scene.

Here’s that Chase and/or Race Scene!

It goes on and on like that for about 2 hours.  Yep, 2 hours!

Sophomoric is a great way to explain the script.  Writer George Gatins obviously knows Need For Speed is not about the dialogue or building complex characters engaged in some compelling narrative.  He is just filling in sections between the race scenes, but doing so in the most basic and obvious of ways.

Even Paul and the cast have to know this.  They could all be Laurence Olivier and Meryl Streep and it wouldn’t matter.  Need For Speed is not an actors’ movie, or a writers’ movie, or a directors’ movie.  It’s a stunt persons’ movie.

Of course, Need For Speed is full of cool cars, so you have to give them some credit.

1waffles_sml1 Waffle (Out of 4)     

Need For Speed is rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language.

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