Ramon Rodriguez

Need for Speed Review


It's difficult to understand how a movie about fast cars, tough guys and feisty women could be so little fun to watch. But the filmmakers, working from a popular videogame, have managed to make something only a gaming nerd could love. It's strikingly well shot, with a likeable cast and an eye-catching use of real stuntwork, but the limp script leaves it utterly joyless. Just a tiny hint of self-awareness goes a long way in these kinds of movies.

Our hero is Toby (Paul), a super-talented driver and mechanic stuck in small-town New York while his high school rival Dino (Cooper) makes millions on the racing circuit. Dino has also stolen Toby's ex-girlfriend (Johnson), and rubs salt in the wound by asking Toby to fix up a wildly valuable Mustang for him. Toby needs the cash to save his garage, so takes on the job with his pals (Cudi, Malek and Rodriguez). But things take a dark turn when Dino leaves Toby to take the fall for manslaughter. And when he gets out of prison two years later, Toby vows to get revenge, working with hellcat racing chick Julia (Poots) to enter the underground winner-take-all race organised by a radio deejay (Keaton).

Despite trying to fool us with various plot twists, the film's script is so by-the-books that we can predict everything that will happen next. So as it heads to its jaw-droppingly implausible finale, there isn't a single moment that surprises us. All we can do is try to engage with the characters, but they take themselves so seriously that this isn't easy. Clearly, director Waugh is much more interested in the cars than the people. So at least the driving scenes are visceral and sometimes thrilling in that choreographed stunt-driver sort of way. And they're notable because there isn't a digital effect in sight.

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Not Another Car Film: How Aaron Paul Was Won Over By "Need For Speed"

Aaron Paul Ramon Rodriguez

On first glance, Dreamworks’ upcoming big-screen adaptation of the Need for Speed video game seems like quite a big leap of faith. Movies, based on video games have tended to be hit-and-miss in the past, with the “miss category” boasting far more entries and Need for Speed in particular doesn’t have the kind of story that would typically pull the film out of the pit of mediocrity. The best thing that Need for Speed has going for it, is its cast. At the beginning, even that was uncertain, with Aaron Paul and Ramon Rodriguez hesitant to take on the project at all.

Aaron Paul, Need For Speed Premiere
Aaron Paul was initially reluctant to take on the project at all.

"I didn't even want to read the script," Paul told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Tuesday night's Cinema Society-hosted screening of the film. "I saw the script and I was like, 'Oh, no, another video-game movie'…So, it took everything in me to turn the first page. And once I turned the first page, I kept turning. I was so surprised that it had a great human story behind it and great characters that I found myself instantly invested in."

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Picture - Ramon Rodriguez - 'Need for... Los Angeles California United States, Thursday 6th March 2014

Ramon Rodriguez - 'Need for Speed' Los Angeles premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre - Outside Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 6th March 2014

Need For Speed Trailer

Tobey Marshall is a highly skilled street racer who’s recently been released from a long sentence in prison after being framed for a crime he never committed by a scheming rich businessman. When he sets out on a revenge mission to take part in a race across country, his former friend and ex-partner betrays him and he is forced to escape the law once again.

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Picture - Brooklyn Decker, Gillian Jacobs, Ashley... , Saturday 16th June 2012

Brooklyn Decker, Ashley Greene, Constance Zimmer, Diane Neal, Fink, Gillian Jacobs, Jason Biggs, Jessica Szohr, Ramon Rodriguez, Rosie Perez, Tracie Thoms and Wilmer Valderrama - Brooklyn Decker, Gillian Jacobs, Ashley Greene, Ramon Rodriguez, Constance Zimmer, Rosie Perez, Jessica Szohr, Tracie Thoms, Ashley Fink, Diane Neal, Jason Biggs, Wilmer Valderrama Saturday 16th June 2012 Montblanc presents 'The 24 Hour Plays: Los Angeles', a benefit for Urban Arts Partnership after party at The Shore Hotel

Picture - Ramon Rodriguez, Jason Biggs, Simon... , Saturday 16th June 2012

Ramon Rodriguez, Jason Biggs, Joshua Jackson, Simon Helberg and Wilmer Valderrama - Ramon Rodriguez, Jason Biggs, Simon Helberg, Wilmer Valderrama, Joshua Jackson Saturday 16th June 2012 Montblanc presents 'The 24 Hour Plays: Los Angeles', a benefit for Urban Arts Partnership after party at The Shore Hotel

Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon Trailer

When man first landed on the moon over 40 years ago, their journey was well documented and broadcast on the TV around the world, what we weren't to know was the details of a secret mission the astronauts carried out on the 'dark side of the moon'. What they discovered was beyond their belief, evidence that we're not alone in the universe.

As the men enter the abandoned Cybertronian spaceship, they collect evidence and take pictures. 40 years on, the truth behind what the astronauts really discovered can no longer be kept secret.

Directed by: Michael Bay

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Ramon Rodriguez, Hugo Weaving, Peter Cullen, Patrick Dempsey, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Lester Speight, James Avery, Mark Ryan, Ken Jeong, Alan Tudyk, Frank Welker, Kevin Dunn, Glenn Morshower, Kym Whitley, Karyn Parsons, Julie White, Corey Burton and Jess Harnell

Battle: Los Angeles Trailer

How do you defeat an enemy you know nothing about and never planned to fight? When earth is attacked by extraterrestrials, one by one cities begin to fall and the world becomes a very different place to the one we know today.

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Picture - Ramon Rodriguez Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Monday 15th June 2009

Ramon Rodriguez Monday 15th June 2009 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen' photocall at the Amstel Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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