Too soon for NFS?
Ah. Need for Speed. The quintessential game for wannabe street racers and gangstas alike. I admit it: I loved the franchise, and even went on to be a tester at EA for the newest "Most Wanted" game in the franchise. These games have at times had an in-depth plot line...which was pretty awesome considering all you were doing was driving a car. I still think that the very first "Underground" game in the franchise was the best EA has put out...but I digress.
Recently the trailer for the upcoming NFS movie has been released, featuring Breaking Bad's very own Aaron Paul in the lead. In the trailer, you see him behind the wheel of what looks like an up-to-date Shelby GT500 Mustang and walking amongst cars the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani.
The trailer seems to be jam packed with action, explosions and some of the more elaborate car stunts I've seen, including 5-6 cars in the air as they jump off a slight ramp in the road, while maintaining only inches from eachother's fenders. Pretty snazzy. There also seems to be some plot about redemption or revenge...the usual stuff when it comes to movies involving cars (Death Race, Drive Angry, Drive, and yes....even The F&F franchise).
The only deviation from this "Cars + Revenge or Redemption = Movie" formula is "The Transporter" ...maybe even the recent film "Getaway".
That's all fine and dandy. After all, we're there for the action, not the plot, right? Well...not so much any more. The one strength that F&F has had in recent years is the addition of a now-continuous story arc through all films, tying them all together in some way to make one bigger story out of 8 smaller ones.
So now the question is: is it too soon for a Need for Speed franchise? With Fast and Furious still going strong, it will be hard to see how NFS will compete with 8 movies worth of a fan base, and a strong array of big name actors like Vin Disel, Dwayne Johnson and now Jason Statham.
You might argue that NFS already has a fan base of its own, thanks to the video game franchise, and it's a safe bet that opening weekend for the NFS movie will be a highly lucrative one for Dreamworks and EA, as I know I will be amongst the thousands who will be checking it out purely out of curiosity to see "can they pull it off?" But in all reality, given the choice between NFS and F&F7....I'd rather see F&F7. Why? Because, while the Fast and Furious movies aren't Oscar Winners by any measure, they certainly are (in my opinion) solid. With the exceptions of 2Fast and Tokyo Drift, (which still weren't terribad) I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series and am eagerly anticipating number 7.
Granted, I'm still a little sore since they drove my Corvette Stingray off a cliff in Fast Five.
So...will NFS hold it's own against the Fury of the Fast? Or is it simply too soon? If it were me, I would have been careful and cautious in my timing, waiting calmly for the death of the F&F series for me to pick up the pieces. Otherwise we may see what could potentially have been a great movie eclipsed by one with a better foothold. Just like A Bug's Life did to Antz, or Despicable Me did to Megamind, or Armageddon did to Deep Impact, or Volcano did to Dante's Peak...the list goes on (Granted, Bugs Life, Armageddon and let's face it...Despicable Me were all better movies anyways).
Already I'm seeing many similarities between NFS and F&F, including a driver with a prison background, police involvement (maybe some undercover work?), and even one vertigo-effect through a tunnel that was kind of the signature shot from F&F.
Is Need for Speed going to make the cut? Or will it crash and burn at the finish line?
As Dominic Toretto once said: "...it doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning's winning."
And come on.....Dom never loses.