“Need For Speed”
“The woman was clever and beautiful,
but the man was surly and mean.” (I Samuel 25: 3)
Back when King David was an outlaw, you
may recall, he met this beautiful woman named Abigail, who was married to
Nabal, whom the Bible tells us was not only very rich, but surly and mean, and
not only that, Nabal’s name means “Fool” in Hebrew.
Nabal and David were contentious rivals, but Abigail helped David, and
there was an obvious attraction between the two of them.
In the movie “Need For Speed,” Tobey
Marshall (Aaron Paul) is the outlaw attracted to Anita (Dakota Johnson),
who’s now married to the rich, surly,
and mean Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), the bitter rival of Tobey.
Dino is a successful race car driver, but he’s also unscrupulous.
Tobey is talented, but is on the fringes of the race car circuit---he
and his buddies have a little mechanic’s shop where they customize dragsters
after hours. They’re under-the-radar,
but a close fellowship, and like David and his little band of bandits, very
loyal to each other.
Tobey is a “natural,” but he’s a
bit of a rebel, preferring private drag races on country roads, but one of
those turns into a disaster resulting in a fatality, and Tobey gets blamed,
though it’s really Dino who’s at fault, but he isn’t admitting it, and
Tobey is the one who winds up hunted by the law (just as David was hunted by
Anita, realizing how surly, mean, and
unscrupulous her husband really is, winds up helping Tobey (just as Abigail
helped David), realizing full well that doing so meant the end of her
comfortable life as a rich man’s wife. In
the Bible story, David and Abigail wind up together, and Nabal meets a
discredited end. Of course, we also
know that David had other women in his life besides Abigail.
In this movie, we’re not quite sure if Anita and Tobey wind up
together, but we do know that another woman is in Tobey’s life, Julia (Imogen
Poots), who helps him make the cross-country trek to the famous clandestine
race with the big cash prize. The whole
road cross-country road trip they’re chased by both the police and the
toughs sent by Dino to slow them down.
So we have lots of car chase scenes.
Lots of footage of driving fast, almost like a video game (yes, the
movie is apparently based on a video game). The
relationship between Tobey and Julia develops into a kind of a prickly
partnership, especially since she can also drive a little, but it doesn’t
really seem to be a big romance. We’re
far too busy driving fast cars to worry much about relationships, anyway.
Oh, and Tobey needs to prove that he’s
the King, despite the fact that someone else happens to occupy the throne and
the palace right now---kinda like David, before he actually became the King.
Of course, even then he tended to get bored by inactivity and get
himself in trouble, anyway, as Tobey does.
This one is for all the adrenalin
junkies out there who prefer movies that feel like testosterone injections.
Not what you’d call a “chick flick,” but just rooting for the
good ol’ bad boy to come out on top at the end.
Just like David the giant-slayer did.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Minister, St.
Stephen’s Presbyterian Church,