Sunday, August 9, 2020
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No Need for Speed

Is there really a Need for Speed in a country where the accident rate from speeding is so high? That’s what I asked myself as I watched high-speed street racing, burning cars and battered bodies in the CGI (Computer Generated Animation)-free film by American director Scott Waugh of Act of Valor fame.

I remember when Puss in Boots released in the UAE, but only after undergoing a name change. The Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifianakis, Salma Hayek starrer was renamed Cat in Boots so as not to offend sensibilities. Fair enough, but as much as I like watching Bugattis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens and Mustangs tear up race tracks, racing on the street with the police chasing and crashes taking place at almost every corner and crossing is not exactly my idea of driving safe on the roads.

The point I am trying to make here is that had the name of the film been changed to ‘No Need for Speed’ for its UAE release, it would have sent out the right message. I am not for a moment suggesting that people who can afford will make a beeline for these super cars and take to Shaikh Zayed Road after watching this film, but if a small name change doesn’t take anything away from a movie, it should definitely have been done in this case as well.

Speed thrills and I am no exception, but it also kills as has been proven far too often in this part of the world. Shooting a movie like Fast and Furious 7 on the streets of Abu Dhabi is good for business and promoting the city to an international audience, but I am not sure what good comes of showing a movie titled Need for Speed, for that’s just about the last thing you need on UAE roads.