“Men Don’t Eat Grass” is the third in the Speed Series. This film is the prequel to the successful Speed series. If you’re familiar with the first two films in the series, you’ll know what to expect here. This film is directed by Greg Garcia and written by Alex Kurtzman and Willie Macaulay.
25 years ago, Tobey (Aaron Paul) races down an oil-field road in search of the fastest car. Fighting through traffic and struggling to keep his company afloat, he reluctantly allies with eco-activist Domino (Dominic Cooper), who wants to use his knowledge to help people. However, when Domino is killed in a car crash, Tobey is devastated… He has no choice but to race his company’s new prototype “Golf Car,” on the run from authorities.
Racing along the coast, he meets colorful characters including a suicidal cop, a pregnant woman with a son inside her belly, and a bounty hunter who plan to shoot him if he tries to find and kill him. But amidst the speed, danger, and chaos, everyone needs a break. So after blowing past a police barricade, Tobey decides to hit Las Vegas. There, on the strip, a casino sends him on a wild ride of a lifetime – one that puts him in charge of a top-secret government project. Playing God, he orchestrates a race against the clock, risking his life and those of his teammates, while trying to put a stop on a drug shipment.
The speed racer himself is played by Tom Selleck, who has a great deal of experience in playing fast men and car chases. However, what distinguishes this film from the others that have come before is its incorporation of a story within a story. Following the events of the previous film, “Pitch Black,” which starred Guy Pierce as a ruthless car chase bad guy, “The Replacements” takes on a different storyline. Instead of using the old school car chases and shootouts, this time around Domino and his rag-tag group of compatriots must race against an international terrorist organization in order to take out one of their own… This time, however, the enemy is determined not to simply stop at any roadblock, and the cars do not simply stop at any police roadblock either.
What I love about the way director Alexander Singer (who is also the co-writer) inserts story within the film is how he has the time and the patience to allow the character’s emotions to be expressed. It allows the film to progress in a way that other movies don’t allow. Singer also gives us three terrific characters, all with their own strengths, desires, and capabilities. The movie is at its best when it follows the life of John “The Replacements” Shea, a war hero who turns down the opportunity to join the military, believing instead that he would rather become a personal protection service for those out in the streets.
Another great character is Frank “The Replacements” Thompson, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. Frank was discovered by the FBI after his plane crash, and they are desperately trying to find out what he knows about the criminal organizations running rampant in America. He has a difficult time accepting the fact that he’s been drafted into this line of duty, and when his own daughter is killed in a car crash, he does what comes naturally and goes into business for himself. This is where the true nature of the character comes into play.
No one is quite sure just what caused Domino to begin such a course of action, but it is clear that he is in desperate need of speed. He needs to get off the ground and head to Las Vegas to meet his contact. He needs to know what he is dealing with before he can react, and that’s just what he gets from Brodie-Sangster in the Need for Speed movie. The role is played by Robert Duvall, who have been in many high-end films, and his presence simply makes Need for Speed a much more interesting and intense film. Robert Duvall is a much better actor than Tom Cruise, who is more known for playing characters like Jack Sparrow or Bond.
Need for Speed is a fantastic film, that leaves you craving for more. Cruise does a great job as the leading man, but the supporting cast is fantastic too. Thomas Brodie-Sangster is a great villain, and Duvall turns in a great performance as the aging agent. Most of all, the amount of violence is shocking for a movie that is meant to be PG. It’s definitely a mainstream hit.