Need For Speed (2014)

SCOTT WAUGH

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA////, 2014.  , , .  Story by , , Screenplay by George Gatins.  Cinematography by .  Produced by John Gatins, , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , Scott Waugh. 

After an illegal race on open city streets gets his best friend killed, goes to jail despite knowing that it was his rival () who was responsible for the young man’s death.  After spending two years behind bars, Paul is released and decides to get revenge, rustling up a snazzy race car and investors and heading for an off-the-grid race called the DeLeon, where he will face off with his nemesis.  Colourful and innocent, this silly drama is a Fast and Furious ripoff for a younger set, exciting and boisterous without being too violent, but even for a film that is little more than an excuse for shots of fast cars (based, as it is, on a video game whose purpose is to indulge in little else), it’s remarkable how poorly achieved it is.  Early race scenes feature some cool stunts, but the climactic event is as unimaginative as the script’s characters, all of whom fall into easy stereotypes (uncomplicated hero, unapologetically bad villain, sassy girl companion, played by a bored ) that make the figures in Vin Diesel’s franchise seem like they were written by Woody Allen.  The plot has holes big enough to sink the Indy 500, like the fact that a guy crosses the country pulling stunts in a multi-million dollar race car that is sure to bring him the wrong kind of attention from everyone he should be trying to avoid, then wraps far too much of its narrative up in the coda after finding weird ways to waste time for its ridiculous two-hour-plus duration.

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