Tobey (Aaron Paul) loves cars, racing and everything to do with that. When he gets the chance to build a car with and for Dino (Dominic Cooper), he jumps at it, despite his intense dislike of Dino. Everything seems to go fine and they sell the car for a shitload of money. But then Dino frames him for manslaughter and Tobey has two years in prison to think about how to take his revenge. He decides to settle the entire thing with a race.
Need for Speed was partly fun and partly not so much. Basically it’s what you expect from a video game adaptation when you don’t expect to much, missing “actually good” and “so bad it’s good” both by a rather wide margin.
I’m goona go right out and say it: I don’t care for cars or racing (kathrintha who loves pretty cars died a thousand deaths next to me because they are all destroyed). I still wanted to see this film because of three reasons, 1) Aaron Paul, 2) Dominic Copper, 3) Imogen Poots. And those are generally good reasons, but they were weirdly handled in this film.
Dominic Cooper gets practically nothing to work with and is pretty much wasted. I don’t know what they did to Aaron Paul’s voice but it sounded like it was changed to be deeper and it just sounds strange as hell. Imogen Poots is likeability personified and not even the worst dialogues can change that. She was the light in this film.
Michael Keaton, on the other hand, not so much. Admittedly he has the worst lines in the entire film and he gets relegated to explaining the story when the filmmakers are uncertain that people would get it otherwise (and since many of the film’s logical conclusions are anything but logical, that is probably a justified fear). But that still doesn’t account for the fact that he has never played a more annoying character in a more annoying way.
And it still wasn’t in “so bad it’s good” territory. Most of the fun got sucked out of the film because most of the time it tried so earnestly. A bit more “ah, fuck it” might have saved it.
Summarizing: Eh. Watchable.