During our last cruise on the Disney Fantasy, DreamWorks’ latest movie, Need for Speed had it’s PremEAR at sea in the Buena Vista Theatre. I am sure some of you are saying, wait a minute, I thought only first run Disney movies played on the Disney Cruise ships. Well, that is true, but this includes movies from other studios that Disney is distributing, which had previously been the case with Lincoln.
Honestly, I did not realize Need for Speed, the movie based on the EA video game franchise, was playing on our cruise until I saw it listed on the day one Personal Navigator. I mentioned to my wife while we were having our first lunch on the ship, that I wanted to go see the movie, and I’m sure she thought I was joking. However, I was not. Still, it was a game time decision. At 11:30 PM I was still awake, and knew we had an relaxing day planned at Castaway Cay, so I filled up my travel mug at the drink station and stopped by the late night snack set up in Europa before making my way to the Buena Vista Theatre. I was rather shocked by the turn out for a non-Disney movie that started at midnight with an over 2-hour running time.
Need for Speed starts out as a throwback, classic car racing movie then abruptly changes to the fast lane into a world of multi-million dollar vehicles in a high-stakes race against time. After a few setbacks and a tragic loss Tobey Marshall played by Aaron Paul sets out on quest for revenge where the only way to clear is name is to earn a coveted spot, and win the De Leon, a high-stakes winner take all race. The De Leon is organized by a mysterious car fanatic, Monarch played by Bruce Wayne… No Beatlejuice… No no, Michael Keaton, thats it, Michael Keaton.
Keaton’s part in the film was one of my favorites and at times I thought he was channeling characters from his previous roles. However, if there was a Hunt Stevenson or Assan Motors reference in Need for Speed I missed it. Other than Keaton and Paul, the other actor that stood out in the film was Rami Malek who you may know from a role as King Ahkmenrah in the Night at the Museum movies. I have to admit, Malek’s character Finn, had the best albeit most un-Disney-like scene in the film, when he walks out of his office.
While we are on the subject of the character Finn, I think it is a good time to talk about Need for Speed’s PG-13 rating which according to the MPAA is for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language. Here is link to the IMDB parent’s guide for Need for Speed for you to decide if it is right for the young ones in your group.
Overall, I found Need for Speed entertaining and it held my interest throughout. If I did go see it again in the theatre I’d defiantly pay the extra for the 3D showing as it really immerses you in each of the races and is not just used as a gimmick. Although, the story was predictable and at times unrealistic, it really did not matter. Why? Simply because the movie was inspired by a video game, not real life. This film should be of interest to moviegoers seeking mindless entertainment. The storyline is a mix of personal relationships and humor capped off by explosive racing that screams for a DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME disclaimer.
Did you see the film? What did you think?