The muscle car film; the last role reserved for the gruff-talking macho man in Hollywood.
Pre-2000, all an action hero had to do was turn up, look tanked and grunt a bit to make a passable action film. Plot? Pah, we don’t need no stinking plot! Emotion? What are you, a Mary? Credible physics? Leave that to the science boffins, I’m watching an action flick here.
Then came the Bourne films with their fancy European locations, art house direction and Matt Damon who was neither physically ripped nor emotionally wooden. Suddenly, audiences wanted to care about their action heroes and therefore the old meat-headed dinosaurs were put out to pasture (Until they returned with quips about creaky limbs for The Expendables)
So the final safe haven for the ‘big dumb macho movie’ became the street-racing film, best reflected in the unstoppable juggernaut that is the Fast & Furious franchise and the incorrectly named Gone In 60 Seconds (At no point do the cars have to disappear within a minute). Vin ‘all biceps no diction’ Diesel is the undisuputed king of the genre, ruling with an iron fist that he occasionally uses to smash people’s heads in and the ‘car heist’ flick has a huge box office appeal by offering all action with no frills. But now it seems that 2014’s Need For Speed is possibly looking to add another gear (sorry) to this genre and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul could be the guy to ‘Jason Bourne’ the street race film.
On paper, the adaptation of a popular long-running computer game franchise should be a no brainer in all senses, but the trailer for the upcoming Need For Speed does suggest otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be rolling cars, large explosions, police chases and even the staple inclusion of a rapper looking to break into acting (step forward Kid Cudi) but the trailer also offers interesting cinematography, a melancholic choir opposed to the usual thumping electro and mostly importantly of all, a character with an actual story. Aaron Paul will be known to many as tortured soul Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad and as fans of the series will know, he’s more than capable of bringing emotional weight to a role and is a far from your typical lead for this genre. Fast & Furious may have the market cornered for all action street racing but this could be the game-changer which sees us asking for more from our street racin’ car jackin’ protagonists. Watch out Vin!
Need For Speed is set for release in March 2014 but you can watch the initial trailer below: