Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
March 18, 2014
Kim Hollis: Need for Speed, the video game adaptation starring Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, debuted with $17.8 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is a profoundly mediocre result. It's about in line with what the likes of Doom, Max Payne and Resident Evil managed, which is not the most illustrious company to find yourself surrounded by. I don't think its status as a videogame adaptation held it back much considering that the connection was played down by pretty much everyone involved, and it was sold primarily as a film in the Fast and Furious vein (or, to be less charitable, a knock-off). The ads that I saw were pretty bland, suggesting that there was nothing in the film to be all that excited about. Even Paul, who was such a charismatic and interesting figure on Breaking Bad, seemed to be sleepwalking through it, and that sense that no one was really trying clearly translated to the potential audience, who clearly thought that this was no substitute for Fast & Furious 7.
Matthew Huntley: Mediocre is right, although I must say, this figure doesn't surprise me, namely for the reason Edwin pointed out: the trailer and ads were uncharacteristically bland for an action movie. There was nothing about them that got me excited or giddy about seeing it (in contrast, the Fast and the Furious movies still have the power to do that, even though there's been six of them), nor did they offer any insight into the plot, which I still don't know anything about. On the surface, Aaron Paul also doesn't seem right for the lead role (at this point, it's too hard to disassociate him from Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad). I'm pre-judging the movie since I still haven't seen it, but it just looked stupid and inconsequential. Clearly, I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: Although it's obviously disappointing, I don't think anyone should be surprised with this number. Need for Speed could have been subtitled "the red headed stepchild of Fast and Furious." And I think people smelled the stench of a blatant rip off. Aside from that, video game adaptations are notorious for flopping and this one did nothing to set itself apart from any pack. And as much as I want to see Jesse Pinkman succeed - he's been through so much - let's be honest, he's no box office draw.
Kim Hollis: I was surprised anyone was predicting mid-20s for this film. We had absolutely no reason to think that Breaking Bad fans would automatically follow Aaron Paul to a crappy-looking Fast and the Furious knockoff. I mean, I love Jesse Pinkman, but I had zero desire to see this movie. I admire that Paul did what he could to promote the film, and it sounds like he acts in circles around the rest of the cast; however, I think he would have been better off testing the waters in a few more indie films before jumping to something mainstream like this. With that said, I'm excited to see him in the Nick Hornby adaptation A Long Way Down later this year (reuniting him with Need for Speed co-star Imogen Poots, by the way).