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Need For Speed Blu-ray Review

By Aug 06, 2014 09:41 AM EST

While I didn’t hate Need for speed as much as I thought I would, I don’t know that I would watch it again unless I happened to be channel surfing on a rainy day.

If you are a designer car buff and a car racing enthusiast then "Need For Speed" is a movie you definitely want to see.   From fast, exotic cars to beautiful scenery from all over the United States the movie won't disappoint the avid Nascar, muscle car and street racing fan.  However, if you don't like all those things you will probably find the movie to be a little long and predictable.  Based on a video game, the movie is meant for those who want weaving and jumping vehicles and fiery crashes.
Need tells the story of Toby, a kid from Mount Kisco, NY who has the natural ability to be a winning professional racecar drive but whose life took a different path and kept him on the local streets he grew up on while running the auto shop his dad built.  Played by Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Toby is the typical good guy whose talent has never been realized and who loses the girl to the cool, but less talented antagonist, Dino, played by Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia). Of course Dino has no morals and frames Toby for the death of their young friend, Little Pete, played by Harrison Gilbertson (Haunt).
There is the beautiful woman who knows cars inside and out , played by Imogen Poots ( That awkward moment) who is forced to come along for a cross country ride and Toby's "ragtag pit crew"  played by Scott Mescudi (Fright night), Rami Malek ( The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2), and Ramon Rodriguez ( Transformers: Revenge of the fallen).  They provide the necessary mechanical and dangerous knowhow and are Toby's guys who always have his back no matter what whch is obligatory for this type of movie.  Rounding out the cast is veteran acting Michael Keaton (Toy Story 3, Batman) who plays the older rebel racecar fan who runs an illegal race where "winner takes all".
Need for speed is certain nothing original and it knows it.  While viewing the BluRay I had flashbacks to several movies including Speed, Top gun, and, the classic, Cannonball run.  The writers are well aware of the comparisons and even add references to many of these movies in the script.  While it lends moments of humor, it smacks you in the face and reminds you, bluntly, you've seen this before.  At least the movie doesn't pretend to be something it isn't.
While I am not the intended audience for this movie, I didn't find the race scenes too monotonous for the most part and followed the plot with ease.  Occasionally I had to suspend belief like when the car was "airlifted" by a military helicopter and when it jumped over a two lane road and landed, unscathed, on the other side.  The stunts and tricks were pretty good and the cars are visually stunning, even for someone who could care less about fast cars.  The acting is passable but won't be winning anyone an academy award.
The "supercharged" extras are anything but.  Capturing speed shows how the director and camera crew hooked film cameras to high speed cars to film as much action as possible to make a realistic movie as opposed to CGI stunts added afterwards.  Ties that bind was a boring commentary about the stunt crew and a family of stunt coordinators who all grew up with the director and his Dad.  Really, Who cares?. The Circus is in town was slightly more interesting showing how the production moved from location to location all around the country.  The most promising extra, Monarch and Maverick outtakes, had the potential to be a hilarious look at Scott Mescudi's and Michael Keaton's adlibbed moments caught on film but wasn't that funny and was way too short.  As always, the 1080p visuals and English 7.1 DTS-HDMA audio don't disappoint and add an element of quality to the film and the cars.
 While I didn't hate Need for speed as much as I thought I would, I don't know that I would watch it again unless I happened to be channel surfing on a rainy day, and couldn't find anything else interesting to watch on TV.  However, if you have a racing and sports car enthusiast in your house, I would buy The Blu-ray and put it away for a stocking stuffer gift at holiday time.

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 124 minutes
Distributed By: DreamWorks Studios

For more information about Need For Speed visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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