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Need for Speed

Need for speed. Addressing that women like cars in the most tired way possible

Apart from Dominic Cooper’s cringe-worthy ‘Dick Dastardly’ type character in Need for Speed, it’s fair to say the latest petrol flick was probably worth paying 2014 cinema prices for (and with those prices that’s stretching it).

Aside from Cooper skulking about and rubbing his hands as the typical villain figure, the filthy supercars and underlying heart-warming story were a good stab, making the car chases epic, the bromances better and the fight more worthwhile.

Basically, if you’re a car lover but are prone to thinking that ‘car films’ are mostly directed at 13 year old boys, then this is an offering you might just enjoy.

For one, the cast all took stunt driving lessons, so all those roaring car scenes were all the more enjoyable for the fact it was ‘real’.

Of course, tearing up a supercar is neither big, clever or on budget, so shells were used for screeching around and bringing up the tarmac while the real deals were just brought in for posing purposes. This saved loads of money as the shell for the $4.6 million Koenigsegg only came in at around $300,000. We can only imagine there was an Astra underneath.

It’s those real stunts and lack of CGI which makes the film stand out. According to most reviews it is this, and this only, that saves it from appealing only to 11 year olds.

Need for Speed

See what we did there? Built via our very own Plate Builder…

So the stunts were good, the storyline passable, but it was one small step for cars, one giant leap back for all of womankind once the leading lady turned up.

It turned out… she liked cars. However she had to battle to prove this to such an extent that the big, blokey ladz treated her like a clueless bimbo and she ended up stomping her feet like a petulant child in order to prove that she so totally was a car nut.

This carried on throughout the film, with her endlessly parroting that just because she is a girl and just because she has a posh English accent, she isn’t a complete imbecile. But then again, given that her entrance consisted of her playing dumb then suddenly spewing facts about exactly how much she knew about the engine probably reinforced the stereotype to the entire audience of (mostly) men.

Way to come in; pretend you know nothing before hitting them with your genius. Unfortunately this clueless woman routine hopefully died in the 70s.

Ask most men out there and they’ll probably claim that the ball and chain knows nothing about cars and finding women who do isn’t that common. Some women do take an interest however, and maybe it’s best to just accept it, instead of making half the film about how gobsmacking this revelation is.

The fact that pretty ladies have more in their heads than lipstick and shoes should really be a given in 2014, making a modern-day film (even a super blokey one) that fails to address this just a little clumsy.

Go for the cars, but take the stereotypical characters with a pinch of salt, because while the driving scenes are good, at any moment you half expect to see Dominic Cooper’s ‘Dick Dastardly’ ride in on a horse (or a Veyron) and steal the fair maiden.

In reality she’d probably swiftly deliver him an elbow to the nose and tell him she’s now late for a corporate meeting.