Film review: Aaron Paul brings a new image to the big screen

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“Breaking Bad” sidekick Aaron Paul takes his foot off the break for a fast-paced role in Need for Speed. “Breaking Bad” sidekick Aaron Paul takes his foot off the break for a fast-paced role in Need for Speed.

Need for Speed is a movie in need of two reviews. In fact, I read somewhere that its original title was Need for Speed: Judge Us On Our Merits, Not On Yours. And I either made that original title up or the movie is so subversive it planted that title in my head. But whatever. This movie should be viewed by two critics with two dichotomous sets of criteria.

First there’s the “rational” critic. He says, “This movie sucks. In fact, it doesn’t just suck. It blows. It’s stupid and self-serious and full of shit and the stunts ignore physics. I defy anyone to take it seriously—or to like it!”

Then there’s the “whatever” critic. He says, “Dude, this movie sucks but it’s so awesome, I can’t believe how much fun I had. Did you see those driving stunts? Most of them were practical. Like, with real cars. When they launched the Mustang over those two lanes of traffic? That shit was unreal, yo! If it was computer-generated, I couldn’t even tell.”

The rational critic replies, “Maybe, but what about Aaron Paul’s super serious performance? Why is he growling? Is he Clint Eastwood in training? For one thing, he’s too short. For another, how often is he going to rub his mouth and chin with his hand? How often, I ask you?”

The whatever critic shoots back, “Look, I grant you he’s a little stern. Maybe even morose. But what do you expect? He watched his best friend die in the first 20 minutes and then spent two years in the joint for a crime he didn’t commit. And the asshole bad guy got away with everything!”

“Let’s talk about that,” says the rational critic. “The bad guy, played by Dominic Cooper, isn’t much of a bad guy. No charisma, no menace. He’s just a weasel. And what fun is a weasel?”

The whatever critic sighs. “That’s the point. Who gives a shit about that asshole? This is about driving, man!”

“And why are we driving?” says the rational one. “Aside from dumb personal vengeance? To win some stupid race funded by Michael Keaton that no one could possibly drive without dying? In fact, I’m sure most of the guys in the climactic race, along with a bunch of cops, totally died. And that’s a weird thing to cheer on like the screening audience was.”

The whatever critic shouts: “Yes, it’s stupid! Of course it’s stupid! The movie is based upon a goddamn video game! Why do you think each character, especially the heroine, is made of cardboard and glued together from other better characters in other better movies? The purpose of Need for Speed is to drive and watch shit blow up.”

There is a pause in the conversation. “You really yelled at me,” says the rational one.

“I’m sorry,” says the whatever critic. “But if you take this movie too seriously your head will explode. You have a choice. Live in its world or live in yours. You can’t live in both and enjoy it.”

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Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6
979-7669

Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX
244-3213

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