At the beginning of Need for Speed, the logo for Electronic Arts came up making it the first time I had seen the familiar "EA" come up before a movie (at least from what I can remember). Now I, much like most of the people in the theater, have seen that logo a million times before video games like Madden, The Sims and even Need for Speed. However, you could hear people in the theater laugh when that happened and not in a way anyone who worked on this movie would've wanted to hear. That should have been an indicator for things to come for a movie that is such a piece of crap it's an insult to pieces of crap.
Aaron Paul just finished kicking total ass in the Breaking Bad series for AMC and will probably go down as one of the best supporting roles in a TV series of all time. So for his first attempt at the big screen, you'd expect for him to sit back, be patient and wait for that perfect script that spoke to him and his agent as an indicator to the world that he wasn't just a fluke in Breaking Bad but was really a skilled performer worthy of Oscar-caliber screenplays. That didn't happen. Instead he chose Need for Speed. A movie so poorly written you'd think it was done by Jesse Pinkman when he was strung out on meth and his tweaker friends.
Are there amazing car chase scenes in this? Yes. Are they all 100% real without any use of CGI? That's what I heard. Is that enough to keep this out of the dreaded and rare "F-rating?" Just barely. Don't get me wrong about these car chases; they are epic. They have to be. The video game is nothing but car chases so it would be pretty pathetic if they couldn't even pull those off. It's pretty amazing to see some of the fastest and most expensive cars in the world in the flesh racing and then get destroyed one-by-one. But the notion of reckless and extremely dangerous driving for fun/sport despite endangering everyone else on the road makes me hate all the characters, including Paul's, so much so that all I did was hope they all kill each other without anyone else getting hurt.
At the beginning of the film all the young, hip racers go to a Drive-In, you know...what young, hip people do, and the movie that is playing is 1968's Bullitt starring Steve McQueen. This was obvious homage to THE greatest car chase movie of all time. You'd think director Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) would have taken a lesson from Bullitt and learned WHY this is considered the best car chase movie of all time; because it was more than just great car chases. It had a fun story and interesting characters. Need for Speed has none of that...not even close. I guess that's what you should expect from a director who's film expierence primarily comes from doing stunts. I imagine this happened a lot on set; "that big explosion looked awesome but are we forgetting something?" YES! A story!
The only thing about Need for Speed that I liked besides the car chases was Michael Keaton (Batman, Robocop). Not because he was good in it but because he probably got paid a lot of money for a half-day's work but shooting all his scenes in one small set talking just to himself. Brilliant con, Mike. His character is stupid, confusing and never surfaces outside of his small...I wanna say...podcasting studio to talk to any of the other characters for a single second. I hope you got paid millions for that role, Keaton, because the makers of this movie should have been ripped off for ripping off the American public like they hope to do. Because of the chase scenes, Need for Speed is the best movie ever made based on a video game and yes, that is still an insult.