Miles Teller v. Cars: A Decade of War
The most enduring blood feud in film continues with Bleed for This
Bleed for This tells the story of twenty-something Italian-American boxer Vinny Paz who broke his neck in a car accident. It’s the role Miles Teller was born to play.
I’m not saying that Miles Teller was born to play Vinny Paz just because he’s a great talent or because he’s in his twenties or because there’s a startling lack of other desirable options (You may thank God that Miles Teller exists to take up this role. If there were no Miles Teller, who would be our go-to actor for white twenty-somethings in dramatic roles? Jesse Eisenberg? Andrew Garfield? MICHAEL CERA? Miles Teller may have prevented you from living in a world with a jacked up Michael Cera. Do you need any further proof that God is merciful?). The real reason he’s perfect for this role is that Miles Teller already has an ongoing blood feud with Cars that has careened further and further out of control over the course of a decade. That they should meet again in a movie centered on a horrible car crash is just one more step in their dance of destiny.
It’s a bitter quarrel that has spanned otherwise unrelated and innocent films. It has blurred the line between the real world and the cinema. Miles Teller may be a fast rising star, but he is merely Michael Jordan and Cars are his Isaiah Thomas Pistons. They are bitter rivals, and Cars are constantly triple-teaming him. Behold: the horrible history of the Miles Teller v. Cars blood feud.
First Blood (2007)
Ever wonder how Miles Teller got those scars on his face and neck?
Those scars on his face and neck, which make him look so much like someone you might know, are from a 2007 car accident “that I should not have lived through,” Teller says. “I got ejected out the window of a car that flipped and rolled, going 80 miles an hour. We flipped eight times. When the car stopped rolling, I was 30 feet from it, unconscious, covered in blood.”
Cars weren’t playing around. I’m not sure how you survive getting ejected from a flipping car. There’s certainly nothing you could personally do, other than maybe wear a seat belt or never enter a car your entire life. Regardless, Cars tried to stop Miles Teller before he became “Miles Teller”.
And Cars weren’t finished.
Did you know Miles Teller could dance? Don’t sweat it if you didn’t. No one knew he could dance. Miles Teller didn’t know Miles Teller could dance, because at the very start of Footloose there’s a town-wide ban on dancing because of a Car crash.
If Cars had gotten their way, Footloose Miles Teller would have just been some weirdo from small town Georgia named Willard instead of some weirdo from small town Georgia named Willard who could pick up girls with his dancing skill. That seems like the deadliest, dopest, most important life skill imaginable.
Cars would have stopped Footloose Miles Teller’s glorious future of dancing his way into the hearts of girls everywhere by never allowing him to discover his glorious talent. It would have been Cars’ greatest victory in this great feud. Thank god for Kevin Bacon(‘s stand-in).
The Spectacular Now (2013)
Before squandering some prime years on Divergent, Shailene Woodley played the ultimate girl-next-door in The Spectacular Now; cute, unfailingly sweet, shy, has a paper route, reads anime for some reason. She picked up Teller’s Ferris-Bueller-but-drunk character literally off the ground and got him over Brie Larson (the cast of The Spectacular Now was just coconuts, by the way).
And then, CARS STRUCK BACK!
Cars tried to take Miles’s life. Then, it tried to take his talent. In The Spectacular Now, Cars tried to take his perfect girlfriend. The Spectacular Now ends on an ambiguous note as to whether he gets Shailene back, but what wasn’t ambiguous was that Cars weren’t finished.
Also, don’t drink and drive.
Whiplash is a movie about JK Simmons nearly driving Miles Teller insane in order to turn him into a really good drummer in a music genre no one listens to anymore. It is by far my favorite movie ever.
Seven years is a super long time to be trying to kill someone, so at this point, Cars stopped trying to be cute about destroying Miles Teller’s life and decided to just try and straight up murder him once and for all.
Getting T-boned by a semi and being at the point of contact probably would kill most people pretty dead, but at this point it’d be weird if Miles Teller didn’t somehow miraculously survive. And he does just that, but gets kicked out of jazz school because of it.
But, as Omar Little once said, when you come at the king, you’d best not miss. This attempt on his life just made Miles Teller stronger. Getting hit by that semi-truck and thrown out of jazz school after breaking up with Supergirl and having his life ruined set the stage for the greatest ending to a movie ever in which Miles Teller dunks on his nemesis’s face (with a killer drum performance).
That Awkward Moment (2014)
In a movie in which the director definitely at one point said “No no, Miles, you can keep your shirt on”, Miles Teller finally had a revelation about true love or something.
And then a car hits him, reminding Teller and we, the audience, that life is cruel.
Fantastic Four (2015)
In Fantastic Four, a child actor portraying young Miles Teller portraying young Reed Richards builds a device that teleports stuff into another dimension or some science nonsense. For the very first test run, Child Teller uses a model Car… and it works! The result is that the rest of this movie happens, which is truly a loss for the entire world.
War Dogs (2016)
If you want to see the latest entry in the ongoing Miles Teller v. Cars saga, you only have to wait a month before War Dogs comes out and subjects Teller to a life as a gun runner. Todd Philips directed War Dogs and is the auteur of one of the most wasteful and unnecessary car scenes in modern cinema in The Hangover.
How much do you think this 30-second shot cost? Between the driver extras and the stuntmen and the crew and closing a highway and getting a shot perfectly at sunset, it must have cost something. And for what? To explain how The Hangover Boys got their tuxedos for the wedding?
How much do you think Todd Philips is going to spend on Miles Teller and Jonah Hill driving a car full of guns through a “Triangle of Death”? There’s going to be Cars full of dudes with assault rifles chasing them down in what is easily the most overt attempt by Cars trying to kill Miles Teller to date.
The scene where they’re driving that truck through the Triangle of Death definitely seems like their truck is like a traitor to Car-kind and those two other trucks chasing them are like “well, if you’re going to help the human Miles Teller, we’re gonna use humans too”. Now more pawns are in play in this brutal dance and the realm bleeds.
Bleed for This (2016)
While Creed-era Michael B. Jordan definitely looked like he trained by destroying cars with his bare hands, Street Fighter 2 style, Miles Teller still looks like a normal-if-buff human being with a healthy respect and fear of automobiles. Bleed for This has finally taken this feud to its final stage, where the Miles Teller v. Cars conflict is no longer relegated to the shadows, but is the main conflict of the film.
Where else could this feud possibly go? How many more Cars will have to pay the ultimate price trying to destroy Miles Teller? How much more can Cars take from him? This fight can’t go on forever.
My two suggestions: Miles Teller becomes the main bad guy in the next Transformers and takes the fight to Cars. Maybe he’s an evil scientist or government type who’s trying to take Energon from the AutoBots to replace all Cars with jetpacks. Or maybe he goes the completely opposite direction and extends an olive branch to Car-kind and does a movie as the inventor of the car, Karl Benz.
Either way, both sides have bled enough. Miles Teller? Cars? Hear my plea. If we do not end this war, this war will end us.
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