Currently the Rotten Tomatoes rating for Need for Speed is 23% (57% audience score). I can understand why it wasn’t a critical success, but I’m definitely on the side of the audience here.
Watch this movie if…
- …you like car racing movies.
- …you like practical special effects (rather than CGI).
- …you don’t mind a ridiculous premise.
- …you like happy endings and don’t mind a predictable plot.
Do NOT watch this movie if…
- …you are tired of The Fast and the Furious franchise.
- …you hate tropes and are hoping for some literary merit.
- …your attention span is less than 130 minutes.
- …you are a pedantic gearhead.
Personally, I don’t mind stories whose plots I can predict. After all, I’ve been trying to become an expert on plot by watching and summarizing movies. What bugs me is when I can predict the dialogue, and this movie didn’t have that problem. A commercially successful movie plot has to have certain elements, but there’s no excuse for stale dialogue. If the characters are going to say something obvious, they may as well say nothing at all.
See below for a plot summary with SPOILERS in the form of a beat sheet in the style described in Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.