Need for Speed
Electrical designer/outside sales – Division 16, Inc;
chief of rally/regional executive, SCCA Hawaii Region
Where and with whom did you see the movie?
I saw the movie at Consolidated Theatres Pearlridge with my wife, Joy Tsui.
Overall, what did you think?
I must preface my review with the fact that I don’t support/condone illegal street racing, which is a big part of this movie. I am a member of SCCA, which promotes safe-driver training and sanctions events that emphasize car-control skill with competition on closed courses.
So, with that out of the way, I now can give my comments from a car enthusiast’s and performance/competition driver’s perspective. I’ve also played some of the PC and game console releases of the video game the movie gets its title from. To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy the movie. Being involved in actual competition driving and doing most of my own car maintenance and modifications usually means I find movies like this to be unrealistic. But I did enjoy this movie. The awesome muscle cars and Euro-exotic cars and engine sounds in the sound track got me excited.
Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?
I found the scene where the leading lady, in an attempt to elude/fool a state trooper, changed her accent when speaking with him. That was unexpected and funny!
On a scale from one to four stars, what would you rate this film?
★ for plot, ★★ for acting, ★★★ for cool cars, ★★★★ for awesome engine sounds: overall,★★★ .
What did you think of the cinematography?
I didn’t think the cinematography was anything special. The scenes where they showed the team driving across the country made me think of how beautiful the 48 states can be.
Was the message/theme clear?
Basically, this is a car flick with a plot thrown in so the actors have a reason to be doing stuff. Like the Need For Speed video games, it’s entertainment for car enthusiasts. I was entertained, so I guess I got the message.
Did it remind you of any other works of film?
Yes, it really reminded me of the Smokey and the Bandit movies, and Michael Keaton’s DJ character reminded me of the DJ in Vanishing Point.
Did you identify with any of the characters?
Since almost all the males in the movie are involved with illegal street racing, and I’m not an attractive female, I did not identify with any of the characters. I did like that the film touched on how it’s best to do the right thing (the male lead does what he thinks is right), and accept the consequences.
Did the sound track contribute significantly to the film?
The engine sounds made the Shelby Mustang and Euro-exotics even more awesome!
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the film?
It goes without saying that street racing is unsafe and illegal, and the movie’s plot does send everyone involved in street racing to jail, some more than once. It’s not a serious or realistic movie; it doesn’t try to be. It was fairly good entertainment, though. I had a few good laughs – and that’s always a plus!
On a different note, what’s new with you?
I’m happy to say there is a safe and legal outlet for those drivers who have the need for speed. The Hawaii region of the Sports Car Club of America holds regular competition events on Oahu and the Neighbor Islands. On Oahu, we offer SOLO (it’s like time attack on asphalt) at Aloha Stadium. We also are in our fourth season of RallyCross (time attack on dirt/gravel) at Kalaeloa Raceway Park. The best way to describe these events is it’s like being able to steer, accelerate and brake the roller coaster at your favorite amusement park.
SCCA also organizes road rallies. These are like car cruises (participants must follow all speed limits, traffic laws, etc.). Competitors are judged on navigational skills as well as observational skills. So, if you have a “need for speed,” check out SCCA Hawaii at sccahawaii.org.