‘Need for Speed’ vs. ‘The Fast and the Furious’ – Which is the Better Car Movie?

Standard
Fast and Furious Need For Speed Movie Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

Need for Speed is the latest attempt at
adapting a video game for feature film audiences, a feat that has been
attempted many times before to mostly disappointing results. Beyond
that, though, Need for Speed is a rare entry in the car movie genre, which has been dominated for the last decade by The Fast and the Furious franchise.We wouldn’t say the two are direct competitors, as both deploy different approaches, but there is no question Need for Speed
is going after a similar audience. Considering that, we thought it
would be interesting to compare the two freshman efforts of each
franchise based on a few key categories. Keep reading to find out which
film ultimately wins.

1. The Cars

Need for Speed McLaren P11 Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

Admittedly, The Fast and the Furious and Need for Speed deploy two strikingly different approaches when it comes to their car selections. F&F,
for example, was focused on the import tuner scene, where Japanese
models like Mitsubishi’s Eclipse and Honda’s Civic are transformed into
high performance machines. Sure, each car had its own personality
(flashy colors, light kits, body modifications), but they were more like
extensions of their racer’s personality. That being said, very few of
the cars on display in The Fast and the Furious left us drooling.

Need for Speed, on the other hand, goes for broke with some of the
most exotic cars on the planet, from Bugatti to McLaren to Koenigsegg.
These are cars that are worth more than some of the Need for Speed actor’s salaries, and we’re not joking. More importantly, though, they are fast all by themselves (see: our Complete Need for Speed Car Guide). In terms of each film’s car “cast,” the competition isn’t even close.

The Winner: Need for Speed

2. The Cast

The Fast and the Furious Cast Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

If we’re talking most celebrated cast, then Need for Speed edges out F&F by a wide margin due in large (whole) part to Golden Globe and Emmy winner Aaron Paul. Unfortunately, the rest of the Need for Speed
cast is populated by lesser known faces and one big name star in
Michael Keaton. What’s worse, a lot of the supporting cast is relegated
to the role of comedic relief in some form or another. Keaton, Paul, and
Imogen Poots are honestly the only noteworthy members of the cast both
as actors and as characters.

The Fast and the Furious didn’t boast much in the way of top
name talent when it first debuted, but at the very least it tried to
fill out its cast with a wide variety of personalities. Leading man Paul
Walker admittedly wasn’t as well known as Aaron Paul at the time, but
the folks behind F&F surrounded him with a cast that didn’t
feel like a bunch of one-note clichés. It says a lot when, five movies
later, audiences turn out in droves to see the original cast reunite.

The Winner: The Fast and the Furious

3. The Love Interest

Imogen Poots Need for Speed Julia Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

The Fast and the Furious doubles down with two love interests, but unfortunately it relegates both Letty
(Michelle Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) to the periphery. They
are the gear head girlfriends or potential girlfriends who have some
knowledge about cars, but get little screen time. Rodriguez does get a
few actual action moments, but her brief late-film stunts are greatly
overshadowed.

Then there is Imogen Poots,
who is alongside Aaron Paul for almost the entire film, even hopping
behind the wheel for one of the film’s better action sequences. She’s a
Brit with an attitude, and the perfect counterbalance to Paul’s
character. To be fair, Poots has her share of damsel in distress
moments, but her screen time and strength of character help put her
above your typical love interest role.

The Winner: Need for Speed

4. The Villain

Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

Dominic Cooper‘s role as Dino Brewster, the villain in Need for Speed,
is appropriately slimy, but it doesn’t resonate on a level that one
could call memorable. Sure, he does the horrific deed, he further backs
that up with more underhanded moves, and he never learns his lesson, but
the characterization of Brewster is merely that of a passable villain.
While Aaron Paul delivers a decent hero, he far outclasses Cooper’s
villain.

We’ll admit that this category is a little unfair since Vin Diesel is
as much the protagonist as the villain, but his role as Dom Toretto
still stands heads and shoulders above Cooper’s. Even if he isn’t one in
real life, Diesel’s personality and physique scream gear head, and he’s
plenty menacing to boot. The Fast and the Furious has a solid history of taking its villains or anti-heroes and making them bona fide leads – just look at The Rock – and it all started with Diesel. He wins in a landslide.

The Winner: The Fast and the Furious

5. The Stunts

The Fast and the Furious Final Stunt Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

Video game branding and Aaron Paul aside, Need for Speed‘s
major selling point is its use of practical stunt work throughout.
Director Scott Waugh boasts an impressive career as a stunt man, so it
felt only right that his first big budget film aspire to truly
recreating the action seen on screen. And what Need for Speed
does deliver is impressive in terms of believability. Unfortunately,
practical stunts that consist mostly of car flips, jumps, and explosions
only work for so long before they start to lose their appeal.

While Need for Speed does pack more stunts into its 2-hour+ run time, it could easily be argued that The Fast and the Furious‘ stunt work is more memorable. Who could forget that awesome Christmas Vacation-esque moment when the Honda Civic zips underneath the semi truck? Or that final race between muscle car, tuner car, and train? Need for Speed impresses with practicality, but The Fast and the Furious has “cooler” stunts and that’s all that really matters.

The Winner: The Fast and the Furious

6. The Races

Need for Speed Mustang Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

Here’s a case where picking a winner ultimately comes down to the viewer’s definition of a race. In Need for Speed,
the marquee race of the film is the De Leon, a single lap road course
that features forest and coastal scenery. It’s the type of race that Need for Speed video game players would expect to see, complete with tailing cop cars and traps, and is a major highlight of the film.

The Fast and the Furious, on the other hand, focuses on the
drag race – the 10-second dash between start and finish line. While the
film does an admirable job of trying to introduce tension into what
should be a split second event, there is very little focus placed on the
actual racing in F&F. Walker and Diesel have their initial
confrontation and climactic showdown, but the racing takes a back seat
to the drama. The idea of Race Wars sounded cool, though.

The Winner: Need for Speed

The Final Verdict: Entertainment Factor

The Fast and Furious Need for Speed Comparison Need for Speed vs. The Fast and the Furious   Which is the Better Car Movie?

While the singular elements highlighted above might help one film
distinguish itself from the other, the ultimate determinant of a film’s
success (on its own or comparatively) is its entertainment value. As a
result, The Fast and the Furious breaks the tie for being the more enjoyable film to watch overall. Need for Speed
does have its strengths and its moments (read our review), but it’s
hard to see the film jumpstarting a billion dollar franchise like The Fast and the Furious did.

Still, Need for Speed‘s use of practical stunts and the
presence of Aaron Paul offer enough potential that it would be
interesting to see where Electronic Arts and DreamWorks go in a sequel. For first films, however, the title goes to The Fast and the Furious.

Which film did you enjoy more – The Fast and the Furious or Need for Speed? What do you think are each film’s individual strengths?

via Blogger http://ift.tt/1ocv1Ml

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s