“I’ve had a lot of anxiety lately. Various stresses that keep coming and going, but leave that on edge electrified feeling in my stomach. Like the knife’s edge on which everything is carefully balanced at equilibrium is gonna tip at any moment. Given all that going on, maybe Need for Speed wasn’t the smartest movie choice.
I say that because so much of the film is seeped in adrenaline AND suspense. It wasn’t just the rush of an action movie with cars going fast and things going boom. There were some real stakes and emotional investments and a sense of “”oh my God we’re going really fast and we’re all gonna die!!!””.
Okay, let’s clarify the first half of the last statement. Yes, there was just enough character development that you cared about what was going to happen. However, the film was beat by beat predictable to where you pretty much knew what was gonna happen anyways. That’s forgiveable, but it still means I gotta dock points for it. Aaron Paul, playing Jesse Pinkman in another life, did give the film just enough weight. He was originally being looked at for the villain role, which would have been nice to see him break bad in a role that was further from Breaking Bad, but the tortured good guy with a heart of gold role just fits him like a well worn driving glove. He, as always, is all heart, and you can’t help but want to root for him. Besides, Dominic Cooper makes one delicious baddie, even if his character was a bit too far on the d-bag meter.
I particularly liked some of the supporting characters. Our manic pixie dream girl played by Imogen Poots was sufficiently quirky, and just stereotype busting enough. We also had a band of loyal bros providing support. Rami Malek especially had my attention as the shameless comic relief in the group.
I learned later that the director, Scott Waugh, is actually a former stuntman. A quick IMDB check tells me he also directed Act of Valor, which explains why that DVD was so prominently displayed in the convenience store scene! Anyways, when I’d heard that (the whole stuntman thing), it made so much sense. The action sequences were pretty tight, and imaginitive without pushing the bounds of realism too far. I actually really do love the idea of a stuntman helming an action movie, and it’s something I would like to see more of. It means that you have someone who knows what’s within their limits, but also knows how to push those limits as far as they’ll stretch. That in turn means less likely that computers will be involved in the stunts, because that’s just cheating.
I managed to make it out of there without having a pulmonary embolism or any other bad physical reaction to the aforementioned anxiety attack. Is a pulmonary embolism actually a possible result from anxiety? I don’t know these things. I’ve just been watching a lot of House lately and the term sounded cool. Whoa there tangent. I think you know what you’re getting into with a film like this. It’s not as flashy as the Fast franchise is now, but arguably rivals some of the earlier ones.
Need for Speed – \m/ \m/ \m/