Awfully Good: Redline + Need For Speed (Video)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Can’t stop thinking about how great FURIOUS 7 was? Cleanse your palate with this literal car wreck…

Redline (2007)

Director: Andy Cheng
Stars: Nadia Bjorlin, Eddie Griffin, Angus Macfayden


A female driver becomes an unwitting pawn in the world of high-stakes racing and gambling.

Sometimes fans of a certain film dismiss criticism by saying, "Whatever, the movie's not hurting anyone." That might technically be true in most cases, but not here. REDLINE was seriously financed by dubious subprime mortgage loans that ruined people's lives and crippled the U.S. economy.

Eddie Griffin was always happy to meet another member of the UNDERCOVER BROTHER Fan Club.

The disaster of REDLINE falls squarely on one person and it's not the writer, director, or any of the actors. No, that would be producer Daniel Sadek. In the mid 2000s, Sadek's business, Quick Loan Funding (also the name of his production company), gave out billions in subprime mortgages—high-interest loans to people with low credit scores who obviously could not afford it—and sold them to major banks across the country. The Bad News: This practice earned him a spot as one of the Top 100 people personally responsible for the 2008 U.S. economic crisis. The Good News: It totally paid for this movie!

For Sadek, REDLINE was the ultimate vanity project. All he wanted was a cool flick to show off both his exotic car collection and his talent-challenged soap opera star fiancé. And he was willing to put down $30 million of his (your) own money to do it. 

It's not difficult to spot the parts where the movie's FX budget ran out of money. 

That's all money wasted because neither of Sadek's prized possessions comes off particularly well. His cars may look cool and expensive, but the racing scenes in REDLINE are a repetitive, hyperkinetic mess, full of eye-rolling ideas like a car going so fast it essentially takes flight, or an expert driver ignoring the concept of depth perception and wearing a nightvision goggle over one eye while going 220 MPH. (And instead of dressing up a dummy car for stunts, Sadek gave the production his own $400,000 Porsche Carrera GT to destroy in an on-screen crash.) The producer's other promotional tool—former fiancé Nadia Bjorlin—doesn't fare much better. He wants so badly for her to come off as a cool, sexy driver, but the only role Bjorlin is capable of selling is that of "lousy actress." The film also blatantly tries to show off her singing skills, repeatedly shoehorning in random musical performances featuring her band Moving Violation and their hit song "You Turbocharge Me." It's all truly embarrassing for everyone involved. It's almost like Orson Welles forcing his wife to be an opera star in CITIZEN KANE, except Sadek was doing this in real life.

Even Daniel Sadek's fiancé eventually saw the light. 

Though REDLINE is entirely Daniel Sadek's mess, that's not to say the other creatives he hired are completely blameless. The film itself is a near-unwatchable cash-in on the FAST AND FURIOUS movies with a script that I would call lazy if it weren't actively trying so hard to be terrible. My favorite example has to be when Eddie Griffin gets in a fight with one of his girlfriends and she demands that they pull the car over so she can get out. Oh, did I say "car?" I meant "PLANE." She tells Griffin to "Pull the plane over now!" and they actually land their private aircraft on a busy highway so she can get out. [head explodes] The script and dialogue operate at this same level of effort. Here's the actual opening narration to this movie: "There are cars that get you from Point A to Point B. And then there are cars that get you from Point A to Point B really fast! And fast cars cost big money and with millions of dollars at stake, there are people who'll do anything to win. People who take risks and never play it safe." 

Holy crap, somebody got paid money to write that. 

At least the cinematography was solid.

The story is mostly nonsense. There are four billionaires who waste their time and money gambling on drag races—Eddie Griffin, ANIMAL HOUSE's Tim Matheson, EQUILIBRIUM's Angus Macfayden and some Asian guy. I'll take a timeout here to compliment Macfayden on giving a truly amazing, off-the-wall performance. I don't know if the script called for him to grab random family members' crotches, dance shirtless and burn money, or dress like a fashionista farmer, but he just goes for it and is the only thing worth watching in REDLINE. 

Costume Design by "I Don't Give A F*ck."

But anyways, our mild mannered heroine Natasha somehow ends up racing for these four rich guys and unknowingly becomes one of the prizes in their bet. When she crashes her car during a race, Macfayden uses this as an opportunity to kidnap her. (Luckily he brought a fake ambulance and fake paramedics to the event just for such an occasion.) He takes her back to his mansion and is in the middle of discussing their future children when his Special Forces nephew randomly shows up to rescue her using a bunch of C-4 explosives. The two go on the run (only stopping at a bar to slow dance), but Macfayden simply kidnaps Natasha's mom and forces her to enter in the final race—DUN DUN DUN!—against the man who killed her father, who up until this point we were unaware was murdered. This leads to another amazing line of dialogue when Macfayden promises to let Natasha's mother go if she wins: "When you cross that finish line first, your mother is going to be sooooooo safe."

Yep, this douchebag worked in a shot of his own office building. 

Even when the film ends, Daniel Sadek still manages to stroke his own ego. One of the final scenes involves Matheson's Hollywood executive calling Sadek himself on the phone to schmooze. (God, I hate this guy.) The only good thing about REDLINE is the schadenfreude in knowing that it was a massive financial failure and two years later Sadek was forced to declare bankruptcy and sell his precious car collection. At least we got a happy ending. 

Some embarrassingly bad narration and laughable lines. 

A sampling of the terrible performances, over-the-top car crashes, and Angus Macfayden's glorious performance. 

Sadek even has his fiancé show off some sideboob.  

Want to support Daniel Sadek? Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • There's a gratuitous shot of a car
  • There's a gratuitous shot of a girl 
  • A car crashes in an unbelievable way
  • Somebody loses more than a million dollars
  • Elvis is in the movie

Double shot if:

  • Someone answers their cell phone while going 220 MPH

Thanks to K Block and Bradley for suggesting this week's movie!

Still got some gas in your tank? Well, pull up to the starting line and start revving your engine as we've got one more race for you to finish with this week's Awfully Good Movies video column featuring NEED FOR SPEED, starring Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, and Michael Keaton. Punch it!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.


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