Monday, 28 July 2014

Need for Speed (2014)

I think it was completely and utterly inevitable that this film would come under close scrutiny because of the near identical concept and execution alongside another certain highly popular street racing franchise. Well...either that or completely shunned, I mean lets be honest here this is a new wannabe racer franchise riding on the coattails of 'The Fast and Furious'...well trying to take its place, so can it?

I needn't really go into the plot much, its all very silly and simple. Basically the main team of characters have gotta get from New York to Cali ASAP so they can enter a secret race there. Behind all this is the standard revenge plot line, the protagonist saw his best friend get killed in a racing accident caused by the films antagonist who sneers like a young moustache twirling 'Dick Dastardly'...without the moustache. Naturally the bad guy (who happens to be rich and own lots of fancy super cars) is in this secret race hence why the good guy wants to enter it and win. Cue lots and lots and lots and lots of super flashy, super slick petrolhead car porn.

Right, I liked this film, yes that's right...I liked it. It started off badly no doubt, there's a hideous looking illegal street racing scene with every fudging unoriginal cliched stereotype under the sun, really got me reaching for the stop button. But my reasons for enjoying this are simply because I like cars and this film feels like an old school car flick. Everything you see in this film is a real time stunt using real cars, no CGI, its all real and it all looks amazingly good. This is what impressed me so much, I mean yeah sure the cars are all filmed beautifully when parked up and when they're on the move but that's expected. The stunts in this film really opened my eyes I can't deny, the Koenigsegg Agera R wreck at the start is fudging awesome! a flipping spinning flaming...errr car on fire! Again you expect hyper glossy interior and exterior shots of the cars in high speed action but damn they got this right! Everything sizzles on screen as the camera pans past from various angles resulting in some excellent traffic dodging moments and of course sexy engine gurgling and roaring.

You can clearly see the people behind this love cars and know how to sell them on screen, add to that the fact they know their way around a good looking real stunt. It all looks quite mature too, in other words it doesn't look like a hammy boy racer flick for 18 year old Vauxhall Corsa owners. Its a different type of street racing to 'The Fast and Furious', that was more modified rice racers and American muscle cars, this is the rich boys league with super cars like Lambo's, Veyron's and Spano's. That doesn't mean its better or worse for that, its just offering another level of racing but still with damage.

This doesn't mean its all good of course, far from it. There are still plenty of stupid scenes which are ridiculous and clearly stuck in to crank up the sex appeal. I still don't get why the main character deliberately gets the attention of the cops when picking up one of the gang, I also don't get why that member quits his job and proceeds to remove all his clothes when leaving. It really felt like they were straining for gimmicks to grabs peoples attention other than the fast cars...seeing as the characters are all so one dimensional lets have one remove all his clothes just because he can.

Despite driving like an absolute maniac across half of the US the cops are nowhere to be seen. The main secret race is a winner take all event, so you win the race you win the cars. Problem with that is all the cars get wrecked and nabbed by the police so in truth you don't get any of them and if you do it will cost a fortune to get them fixed up. Plus why would anyone enter a race with a billion Dollar super car and then proceed to ram your opponent?! Jesus Christ what about that expensive paint job and bodywork??!! It made me wince in pain watching! no! that's a McLaren P1!! don't do that!!! Arrrggghhh!!!

Then you have the race organiser played by Keaton, now this guy sits in front of his computer using Skype or something to talk to people all over the place. The funny thing is everyone seems to be logged into his channel or whatever all the freakin' time! he knows everything and everyone is always watching and or listening...accept the police. Hey police you wanna know what's going on how about watching the mega rich guys computer network channel thingy. The main character just happens to befriend the sexy blonde female who works for some other mega rich guy who owns lots of fast cars...this comes in handy because she is able to loan him a Shelby Mustang to race, lucky huh. Oh and she is also the stereotypical female character who everyone thinks is just a dumb blonde but actually knows tonnes about cars. Yet in reality we all know the actress really knows sod all and is reading a script.

I could go on with more silly bits n pieces but lets be honest here (again), we knew to expect silliness and lame characters plus the token black guy. We knew to expect hammy dialog, a cliched plot and lots of predictable sequences, this film is based on a racing videogame. I think its safe to say if you like cars then you know you'll probably get a kick outta this, if you liked that Vin Diesel/Paul Walker car franchise then you'll probably like this. I thought this would be trash but I have been pleasantly surprised I admit. The visuals are crisp sexy and colourful, the action is exciting and seeing these cars in action make you wanna tear up the tarmac on your way down to your local Tesco. Completely cliched B-movie dross top loaded with car porn, but damn I enjoyed it...plenty of vroom!