Need for Speed (2014)

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Need for Speed: Directed by Scott Waugh. With Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Kid Cudi. Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross-country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.

“I really enjoyed this.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLyn-Manuel Miranda is widely and deservedly regarded as a genius and this musical/film adds more evidence to support that.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eClever, funny, rapid-fire lyrics blend with an (until this musical was created) under regarded figure of US history. But his genius is even more evident in his decision to pitch a musical where most of the white historical cast are portrayed by Black American performers… with hip hop music at its spine. Originality is king if you want to make memorable art.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe cast in this production are luminescent. They may not all be names theatre goers will readily recognise but youu0026#39;ve seen many of them on TV and film. Thereu0026#39;s even a key figure played by a semi-regular from Glee (singing a song that sounded very Tim Minchin to me).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs a huge fan of musicals I was always going to like this. The flip-side of this is that I judged it against the others Iu0026#39;ve seen and loved.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSo yes, its hands don at least 8 stars (and most people say more than that, and thatu0026#39;s fine) but some of the things I regarded as flaws held me back.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRelationships – no real kick-arse relationships of emotional depth except for the one who dies midway through the second act. And while it was portrayed and told well, I felt it failed to resonate as much as it could have by the lack of foreshadowing the bond. The relationship with his wife seemed tacked on and the hinted relationship with another woman (wonu0026#39;t add a spoiler here) never delivered. The fact it was never established as fact in the real life story of Hamilton was no doubt part of the reason, but including the hint that goes nowhere served little purpose.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe story – Some stories are light by nature (Grease, Little Shop of Horrors) but they at least have a powerful relationship at their base. Some are significant because of the story they cover (Les Mis, Rent)… and they also mostly have a powerful relationship or two in the midst. I know the purpose of telling Hamiltonu0026#39;s story was to share details of an almost forgotten figure, but I kinda feel like he deserved to be forgotten. Definitely an intellect, but his role in the War of Independence was bureaucratic, his additions to legislature were significant, but again bureaucratic. If they had hung some of the story on a significant moment rather than to provide a greatest hits package of his life, maybe there was more power to be had? Having seen it and enjoyed it, I still wonder u0026quot;why Hamilton?u0026quot;u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnyway, those are just some of my personal misgivings and I DID love the film/musical. Miranda is the genius in this case and while itu0026#39;s very easy for people on the sideline, like me, to critique or fiddle with the idea, thereu0026#39;s no idea at all without his amazing mind.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYou really should see this.”

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