After being released from a debilitating annual product cycle which overloaded new fans and veterans alike, Need for Speed (Electronic Arts, various development studios) is set to crash spectacularly across movie theatres worldwide to avenge the slow decline of the video game series it was born from.
And, therein lies the biggest problem with Need for Speed. It’s a computer game movie, and we all know how successful those are. Forgive me for being cynical, but here we have Electronic Arts trying yet again to cash in on one of their best loved franchises by expanding it into areas where it shouldn’t go in the first place. No wonder everybody hates EA. Need for Speed is a racing game series that nearly died because the studios tasked by EA to develop annual iterations began to release crap games. Even when the games were any good, they are ultimately annual releases of mostly the SAME THING (apart from Shift, where they tried to get realistic), cops chasing street racers in unrealistically expensive cars. Akin to Call of Duty‘s annual release cycle, Need for Speed was a victim of its own success.
Here’s the other major problem with the Need for Speed movie: it’s got to be at least as good, if not better than Fast and Furious. Even with the sad passing of Paul Walker, the Fast and Furious movies are the established two tonne gorillas of the street racing action movie genre and features characters we’ve grown to love with big name stars like The Rock and Vin Diesel. Against Fast and Furious, Need for Speed looks like a cheap, cynical knockoff, similar to those Chinese cars that are cheap cynical, clones of Western models.
Do I think that Need for Speed will be crap? Yes, undoubtedly, because it’s competing against an already established juggernaut of a movie series and the entire movie appears to be an angry looking guy racing Bugattis and Paganis (despite BEING POOR) whilst crashing a lot. At that rate, I might as well just go and play Need for Speed Rivals or any of the older, better ones.