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Review of "NEED FOR SPEED"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014. First Published: 14th April 2014 Revised: 13th April 2014 Revised: 15th April 2014
REVIEW: "NEED FOR SPEED" by Jayne Waterford

In truth, I went in feeling quite skeptical: character and maturity were created with dirt, small faces on enlarged heads, men with tiny arms twerking and lapping it up when their friends call them bitch? It was like Biebs was missing.

I could be so not nice about this film but in the end I found the characters totally likeable and watched the scrolling credits, that actually required 3D glasses, enjoying myself. This was a well humoured film inspired by the "FAST AND FURIOUS" franchise (2001)-(2013) with significant differences:

1. The obviously ultra-showy, classy cars for which the plot had no regard. They looked it. They looked big. Maybe that's why the people were so tiny? Put a couple of women on the set and that's no oversight.

2. The cars get dirty. Really dirty, not just a puff-of-dust as if it was a reflection of the driver's ego about their finish but golden in the Californian lights.

3. The character's reactions, to extreme circumstances like being hung off Ridley Scott's "THELMA & LOUISE" (1991)'s desperation point by chain to chopper, are extreme. In "FnF" the characters always look cool and then the camera cuts

away, everytime, unless it made Brian O'Conner (R.I.P. Paul Walker) smile. A "THELMA & LOUISE" reference? Brad Pitt wasn't even in that scene.

4. The cars are more expensive and more totalled. How can you even pretend to do that to a Cobra? *makes note to look up if there are only two left in the world*

5. Characters go to jail as a consequence of their actions rather than being in jail as a plot point.

6. The people are tiny. This is what really happens when you puff that much blow. I'm not saying you shrink but it does not allow your body the opportunity to grow!

7. The, "black," character Benny (Scott Mescudi) is more cliched (bro, homie, twerk, jive, ultimate-support-role as rally-driving right-seat chopper pilot having to do himself with ever greater thefts just to keep pace with the pack). He gets to do it all. The comedy duo Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) in the "FnF" franchise just aren't that chiched, relatively speaking.

8. Everyone looked exhausted by their life-style. Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) was no glamourous,

"legendary fuck," of-a-drunk (Chris Hemsworth) in Ron Howard's "RUSH" (2013) sparkling at all times of the day except when throwing up directly before a race. Though Tobey did look glassy errr classy most of the time. These were people who were constantly high and high functioning but spiritually shagged. It's like they were trying to show how it really would be. Particularly the black dude: Benny. He looked hungry and atrophied all over.

These are people who don't have sex anymore. They have facial features that have migrated to a clump in the centre of their faces the way a flathead's eye migrates to the other side so it can sit next to the other one. These are characters who are familiar with consquences, who know about jail and factor it into their grand gestures. (In reality some people just get droopy persuing the same emotional state all the time. And they are very boring. VERY boring. Everything is on repeat. Did you know, "ice," bores holes through the human brain so broad as to place everything beyond the users' reach? It makes me wonder if perhaps it's people after lucrative goverment contracts who developed the stuff, aiming to provide a whole growth industry with, "little boxes," (Malvina Reynolds, 1962) across the whole layer of people in our culture who are permantently debilitated.) But not so our intrepid group who are self-starters with a need for speed? They do things, wild things, except have sex.

Yep. It's speed.

Interestingly when Benny had been in prison for a while (without any stuff) his energy got so high he started running dance classes for his cell mates (in protective custody). On their own. *spoiler* Yes, the black guy went to prison.

Michael Keaton's stand up comedy act as the Daily O, unlawful, race enthusiast says it all! I mean if Keaton is jerkin around on his internet radio show being your tough guy... But then he was BATMAN. Twice (1989 and 1992).

And the ultimate drag race? It featured the most expensive cars in the world (pissing all over the "FAST AND FURIOUS" franchise). Each stopped only when totalled. Some even raced through wooded terraine, recalling the most dangerous race track on the Formulae One circuit, (as enjoyed in "RUSH" but with no sun-tanned people perched in the trees). (Who has the energy to climb up there?) What a budget! You had red steering wheels :), nose bags, fancy-schmancy headlights and doors as tall as Tobey. We buy that they are hyper-performance, straight away.

  • There's no gliding about the inner city eye-balling each other, they are toe-to-tail all the way. Plus,
  • their paint gets really damaged!

    What was subtlely interesting about this film was three things:

    1. The opening sets that evoked the loss of Tobey's dad are built to be large, a proportion different to everything generally, like we have to make a reality to evoke how large people in small-town America used to be.

    2.To the people we are very close.

    3. The costuming and locations suggest the very ordinary in a hurt country. Benny picks up Tobey from prison *cute little names* in ironed trackies straight from the wash line. It's interesting. Our first race is on the back street of a small town, a vacant piece of tar. "NEED FOR SPEED" is made for a contemporary USA.

    The, "black," character Benny (Scott Mescudi) gets to do lots of interesting things exorcising stereo-types. For example, he gets to ride, "right seat," the defintive support role, the seat next to the rally drive, who is white. But he gets to do it from a chopper that hovers over the streets Tobey races through. How many times does he up-the-anti with more daring thefts and cons to the point of impersonating an airforce officer

  • and commanding chopper pilots to assist his buddies in the nick-of-time? Finally his stunts esculate to the point where they entail saying farewell to his friends as he knows he will be taken directly to prison from thier rescue. Do we even notice how great this guy is? It's like he has to out shine his contemporaries with 20 times the dazzle just to keep pace with them in an audience's opinion. Nooo. Really? It's interesting.

    Imogen Poots is interesting putting a new spin on goofy, hot chick. She is also very tiny. Our arch-villain Dino (Dominic Cooper)? He looked taller when he was Bones in J.J. Abrams' "STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS" (2013), broader and healthier? No wait. That was Karl Urban. Was there C.G.I. in this film?

    In true Walt Disney style this accessible film about one-use-only, ultra-luxurious items, with subtle references to the unpleasant, wrapped up nicely. "NEED FOR SPEED" was better than Ken Scott's "DELIVERY MAN" (2013). Is it nine, one, two, one, oh all over again? No. Tobey and the gang are enjoying themselves. But you be the judge.

    I found this film whitty. In my opinion Scott Waugh's "NEED FOR SPEED" (2014) is a gem. 7/10

    Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

    Scott Waugh's
    "NEED FOR SPEED" (2014)
    Director Scott Waugh
    Producers John Gatins, Patrick O'Brien, Mark Sourian
    Stars Aaron Paul (Tobey Marshall) Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper (Dino ), Sir Maejor (Leigh Dennis - Inmate), Rami Malek (Finn)
    Release Date 13th March 2014
    Category Action Crime Drama
    Running Time 132 minutes (2 hours, 12 minutes)
    Rating M
    Origin USA
    Studio DREAMWORKS
    Coda Can't remember.
    Distributor Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures Australia
    Official Blurb "DreamWorks Pictures' "NEED FOR SPEED" marks an exciting return to the great car-culture films of the 1960s and '70s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of
    intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes-one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, "NEED FOR SPEED" captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless." - Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures Australia PR
    In a last attempt to save his struggling garage, blue-collar mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul, right) skillfully builds and races muscle cars on the side with his team that includes Benny (Scott Mescudi). DreamWorks Pictures' NEED FOR SPEED chronicles a near-impossible cross-country race against time-one that begins as a mission for revenge but proves to be one of redemption.

    Melinda Sue Gordon

    © DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved

    Dominic Cooper as Dino Brewster and Dakota Johnson as Anita co-star in DreamWorks Pictures' "NEED FOR SPEED" which chronicles a near-impossible cross-country race against time - one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption.

    Melinda Sue Gordon

    © DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved

    Among the iconic American muscle cars featured in DreamWorks Pictures' "NEED FOR SPEED" are the '69 Ford Gran Torino and '66 Pontiac GTO. Each car came equipped with a GM LS3 engine, 430 horsepower 425-foot pounds of torque and weighed close to 3,400 pounds. In an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and '70s that tap into what makes the American myth of the open road so enticing, "NEED FOR SPEED" chronicles a near-impossible cross-country race against time one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption.
    Ph: Courtesy of DreamWorks II
    2014 DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.
    DreamWorks Pictures' "NEED FOR SPEED", features the 21st century design of the classic Mustang, based on the 2013 Shelby GT500. Carroll Shelby, a legendary American racer turned car designer who created the performance-based Mustang for Ford in 1965, had been working on the 50th anniversary edition when he passed away in 2012. In an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and '70s that tap into what makes the American myth of the open road so enticing, "NEED FOR SPEED" chronicles a near-impossible cross-country race against time one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption.
    Melinda Sue Gordon
    2014 DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.