First Hit: The cars were cool and fun to watch.
The story line was lackluster – except for the excitement Monarch (Michael Keaton) brought with his fervor for promoting his annual race. How we get there to this race is supposed to be a dramatic story that we’re interested in.
But, most of the acting and scenes are simply a bunch of clichés strung together. Small town guy Toby Marshall (Aaron Paul) who comes from a racing family is going to lose the garage his father left him because... . And that question is left open and unanswered.
He probably put himself in this predicament because it appears to the audience he likes hanging with his friends working only on stuff he likes to work on - race cars. And because of this the business is going under with no real effort to change his business model. So they do a Hail-Mary pass by fixing a rare Carol Shelby car that was never finished and owned by Dino (Dominic Cooper).
The plot twist is that this arch enemy (who also stole his girlfriend) is the person offering him this opportunity. Interesting thing is that they created the illusion that this was an unfinished Carroll Shelby car which we know couldn’t have a body because Shelby died many, many years ago. But because Ford is promoting their new 50 year old Mustang model in the film this is the draw.
Yup, we got a new Mustang body on a Carol Shelby chassis and engine designs. He fixes up the Mustang, gets pulled into a street race and loses his best friend in the process. For revenge he gets into the cross country street race that involves "winner takes all" (cars that is). The race is orchestrated by Monarch.
The cars: A Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, Koenigsegg Agera R, Bugatti Veyron Super Sports, Saleen S7, GTA Spano, and a McLaren P1. Of course the hero wins and gets basically nothing because the cars get destroyed in the film, but all’s right with the world because he settles a debt, and gets a new girlfriend Julia (Imogen Poots).
The cars were the stars – loved seeing them and wanted to drive them all. Paul was OK as the quiet type hero who does his talking through driving. Cooper was good as the guy who didn’t care much about how his actions hurt people. Keaton was great – the guy still brings so much energy to every role his does. My favorite today is still is role as Beetlejuice. Poots was really enjoyable and I enjoyed her role as it progressed in the film. George Gatins wrote a predictable script. Scott Waugh directed this and I thought it might have been better with less police interference and more open-street driving to see each car’s ability to perform because it was all about the cars.
Overall: Just wanted more cars and less people.