#103 | Need For Speed 2: Hot Wheels Edition

Need For Speed | Aaron Paul | Sequel | Beyond The Box Set


Listen to our Need For Speed episode on:

In last week’s Battleship episode, we found that – shockingly – a board game based around shouting out numbers to sink plastic boats wasn’t quite meaty enough to sustain a two hour movie. Nevertheless, there was reason to hope that Need For Speed might turn out better. After all, racing movies have been around for almost as long as the medium of cinema itself. Plus, as leading men go, Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul is certainly a more promising proposition than bland himbo Taylor Kitsch.

Strangely enough, the artist formerly known as Jesse Pinkman might just be one of the reasons Need For Speed just doesn’t work as a popcorn action flick. He’s the best actor in it by some distance – the less said about a horribly miscast supporting turn by Rami Malek, the better – but he’s arguably too good for the movie. The brain-dead script demands a Jason Statham type to sell it as dumb, high-octane fun. Paul plays the role like he’s in a serious drama, creating a tonal awkwardness that renders the film’s high body count and multiple car pileups difficult to enjoy.

Based on the popular EA gaming franchise, Need For Speed was released in 2014 to derisive reviews and a surprisingly soft US box office of just over $40 million – although it proved much more profitable overseas, and a sequel is reportedly still in discussion. We got in under the line this week though, so once we’d finished a heated dissection of the original movie’s questionable moral philosophy RE: illegal street racing, we got to the important work of pitching our own sequel ideas.

You can check out what we came up with by streaming or downloading this week’s episode of Beyond The Box Set using the links at the top of this blog post, or by searching for us on your preferred podcasting platform. If you enjoy the episode, please hit subscribe for a new episode ever Friday morning, and please consider giving us a rating, a review or a recommendation – or ideally all three – to help new listeners to keep discovering our show.

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Next week, we’re adopting a slight change of pace as we continue our exploration into movies based on games, with a slice of cheesy teen horror based on a teen party staple. Until then, happy listening and please, respect your local traffic laws.