I was not excited about Need for Speed, the movie
based on inspired by vaguely resembling with the same title as the hit video game. It just smelled fishy from the start. First, I heard that all the expensive cars being used were actually replicas. Then, the trailer debuted and I got an earful of some kind of weird, fake scripture reading as a monologue and an eyeful of Syfy-grade flames surrounding a flying Koenigsegg. And over everything had been draped the heavy fire blanket of being a video game movie, because that always works out so well. Why had talents like Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper attached themselves to this?
But last night, Aaron Paul showed up on Top Gear, and those promotional interviews really do work, because now I can’t wait to see Need for Speed. I found out that Magnaflow played a significant role in that decision.
You guys all know Magnaflow. They’re the ones with that incredible exhaust and the great price and such. Legendary tuners like Chip Foose use them. Extremely successful racers like Samuel Hubinette and Vaughn Gitten Jr. find them indispensable.
Apparently they’ve hit show business, too. They were given access to put a Magnaflow exhaust system in every single significant car in Need for Speed, meaning that everything would sound phenomenal. This, while awesome, might seem a bit strange if you’re familiar with filmmaking. Anyone who remembers the Beetle-based kit GT-R that starred in Fast and Furious knows that engine noise can be added in post-production. But this can be a problem when exhaust notes don’t match up with revs and shifts and braking as they should.
Still, why did they install the exhausts on the front end? The fact of Scott Waugh might shed some light. A career stuntman, Need for Speed is Scott’s second major directing effort, after 2012’s surprisingly genuine Navy Seal epic, Act of Valor. Scott likes to keep things realistic.
Aaron Paul offered more insight on Top Gear, shortly before a warning from Clarkson not to pursue his daughter, saying that every car stunt in the movie was actually performed with old fashioned practical effects. He mentioned that Waugh wanted to keep things old school, putting Need for Speed in the realm of classics like Bullitt, Vanishing Point, and Smokey and the Bandit.
Paul went on to confirm our suspicions about the “fake” cars. Yes, many of the supercars used were, indeed, replicas, but for all the right reasons. They were mostly slated for annihilation, and the filmmakers didn’t want to destroy what they considered to be works of art. And sometimes this came at a cost, according to Paul. The kit cars, he said, ran about $300,000 a pop, and they all bit the dust.
I started to get the idea that this wasn’t just a tepid studio fundraiser designed to grab hold of the lucrative early spring market. Perhaps this will be something else entirely: Waugh’s attempt to experiment with authenticity in our current, CG-dominated age. No, I can’t vouch for the script at this point. (I sincerely hope their weird liturgical soliloquy from the trailer didn’t make the cut.) But I can vouch for Aaron Paul’s acting. The guy was brilliant in Breaking Bad.
I can also vouch for the Magnaflow sound. That exhaust music alone will be worth the five bucks for the ticket. If you want a piece of the Magnaflow action, now’s the time. As a Streetside exclusive, get a free Magnaflow hat when you buy your Magnaflow system.
And keep an eye out for the new Magnaflow shorty headers coming out soon. I talked to Magnaflow’s Darron Shubin recently and got a look.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.