Movie Review: Need For Speed

Published On March 20, 2014 » 3088 Views» By admin »

need_for_speed_ver3Not the Best, but Entertaining

Star Ratings

I’m usually disappointed when a movie is based on a video game, especially when it’s a game I like. When I learned that Disney was making a “Need for Speed” movie, I was naturally horrified. But the results weren’t half bad.

The protagonist is a mechanic making one last attempt to save his struggling garage. Blue-collar mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) builds and races cars with his rag tag team of buddies. Enter arch nemesis, the wealthy, arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), who manages to frame Tommy for manslaughter just as he is about to save the day. It’s two years later and Tommy wants revenge.

The movie features a clever snappy script, which was well developed and cleverly executed. I wasn’t expecting a really dramatic premise, but the screenwriter delivered anyway. It’s one part action and one part innocent ex-con bent on revenge drama.

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Of course, what’s a racing movie without car races? These races were interesting, elegant and flawlessly executed. It’s a racing movie that allows you into the car, heightening the suspense. I think a lot of this worked because the producers chose to go with real stunts, as opposed to CGI. The results are realistic and suspenseful, if a little over the top at times.

I mean really, does every car have to explode into flame because it gets hit? Are these cars made of oxygen tanks soaked in gas?

This is Paul’s debut on the big screen, and I think he pulled it off reasonably well. Of course, coming from the role of Jesse, a meth cooking drug dealer in Breaking Bad, playing a blue collar criminal type is obviously Paul’s foray.

It’s not high art by any means. Need for Speed is just like its name, fast paced. It’s pure action and butt kickings, with more than a few explosions thrown in for good measure. You won’t walk away from this movie any smarter, but you’ll definitely be entertained.

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They clearly made a point of keeping the script relatively simple and cohesive, which is a refreshing change from the millions of other racing movies out there. This movie has a 70s or 80s racing movie feel, with a $60 million budget. In short, it pulls off pure entertainment.

The supporting players were a bit forgettable. Imigen was the fiery British love interest, but she really didn’t seem to fit into the movie. Michael Keaton as billionaire Monarch just felt silly. Dominic Cooper was a mustache twirling villain cliché of the highest form.

Is it the best movie I’ve seen this year? No. But it might be one of the most entertaining. This is a good Friday night movie, when you don’t want to do a lot of thinking. The plot moves pretty quick (I mean, the kid only does 2 years for manslaughter) and the high speed racing keeps it interesting.

If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, then chances are, you will like this movie. If you’re a fan of the video game Need for Speed, you will probably like this movie. It’s fun, just a little bit angsty and not driven by drama or messages. It’s just a good time.

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