Login
Password

Forgot your password?

Movie Review: Need for Speed

By Edited Feb 20, 2016 3 6
Need for Speed Movie

Certificate 12A, 130 minutes

Director: Scott Waugh

Stars: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Scott Mescudi

In Need for Speed Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul, A Long Way Down, Triple 9) lives in Mt Kisco, New York state, where he is running Marshall Motors, a performance car specialist. The garage is struggling financially after his father died, although why is never stated, so he is participating in illegal street races using American muscle cars.

Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dead Man Down, Dracula Untold), also from the area, and Tobey have some sort of historical disagreement - again, why is never made clear - but he wants Tobey to build a car for him; a Ford Mustang that was being worked on by the late Carroll Shelby when he died, in exchange for a lot of money.

Need for Speed
Tobey participates in yet another illegal street race with three, not legal in the U.S., Koenigsegg Agera hyper-cars,[1] and the inevitable happens - there's an accident and someone dies in a crash with a car that explodes into flames suspiciously easily. Tobey is blamed for the accident, as the other racer flees the scene and avoids persecution, and goes to prison for two years, even though he wasn't responsible for the death. Apart from the fact that if he hadn't accepted the stupid challenge in the first place the accident would never have happened.

When he gets out he wants to participate in the invitation only illegal street race with a constantly changing location known as De Leon run by Monarch (Michael Keaton, Birdman, RoboCop) in an attempt to prove his innocence and get justice. Not a great plan if you think about it; prove you were innocent by doing another illegal race. The De Leon race isn't the main focus for the film, although it is the climax, as a goodly amount of time is spent working up to him getting out of prison and he then needs to drive across the United States to get to the race, accompanied by Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots, Fright Night). The getting there involves yet more driving illegally as the police are continually helpless to catch him.
Need for Speed Rivals - Xbox One
Amazon Price: $39.99 $17.44 Buy Now
(price as of Feb 20, 2016)
Back in the 80s as home video games became more prevalent, films started releasing video game tie-ins to go with them. These games were on the whole not very good to really bad. In the 90s as video games became more complex and bigger budget, a new trend emerged of making films based on video games.

These films, like the games, were on the whole also not very good to very bad. There were exceptions in both cases and both trends are still continuing, still with mixed results.

Need for Speed is based on the Electronic Arts video game franchise of the same name. As films go this one started off with a distinct disadvantage where it comes to plot, as in the game there are some cars, they are driving fast and you need to win. That's pretty much it for the plot, although there are usually some elements of a story are worked in, but it boils down to driving fast cars fast. For a film you need a bit more of a plot, even with similar film types such as the Fast & Furious franchise.

Need for Speed is available in both 2D and 3D with the 3D version being the one watched. 3D works in some instances, usually those that involve a lot of CGI, but this was not one of them and the 3D wasn't even noticeable most of the time. The film was post-converted to 3D which in this case was pretty much money down the drain, upping costs which is something the film desperately didn't need to do.

This is no Street Fighter (the film that killed Jean-Claude Van Damme's big screen career), but it's no masterpiece. The plot doesn't make a lot of sense, the timings of the trek across America don't look to work - how if the car is driving that fast is everybody able to keep up with it even using slower vehicles? The final conclusion to the film is an overly happy circumstance as in real life it is unlikely that events would have worked out so well, as most people who've seen any police dramas involving evidence could probably figure out.

Cooper's character of Dino is a suitably villainous counterfoil to Paul's nice guy (if criminal) Tobey. Dino has no redeeming characteristics, being perfectly willing to cause accidents that can kill people and then leave them to die. This portrayal, however unbelievable, is one of the better parts of the film. In the end Need for Speed isn't about a plot any more than the video games are; it is about the fast, expensive cars which are being driven fast, often with slowed down scenes so you can appreciate the beauty of millions of dollars of car being destroyed in slow motion, and if that's what you really are looking for, then the film works.

Need for Speed (Film) egdcltd 2014-03-13 3.0 0 5
3/5
Need For Speed (Theatrical)
Amazon Price: $19.99 Buy Now
(price as of Feb 20, 2016)
Advertisement
Advertisement

Comments

Mar 14, 2014 6:14am
EBChristine
I love car movies, no matter what kind of crappy plot they tie to them. Good article.
Mar 14, 2014 11:08am
egdcltd
Thanks! It does work quite well as a car film, but I think I prefer the Fast & Furious films.
Mar 15, 2014 12:12pm
EBChristine
Without a doubt, cooler cars, prettier men and women, with a somewhat believable story line. You can't blame another movie production comapny trying to replace Paul Walker, albeit unsuccessfully.
Mar 16, 2014 8:24am
egdcltd
It was a shame about that accident.
Mar 20, 2014 9:19am
RoseWrites
Appreciate your succinct review of this movie - I think it would be challenging to stretch a movie of this type into an intricate plot. Thumbs and Pinned to my movie board.
Mar 20, 2014 12:32pm
egdcltd
When i first heard that this film was being released, it didn't strike me that they had a lot to work with. It is possible to make a perfectly enjoyable film without a plot though.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Bibliography

  1. "Koenigsegg Agera." Wikipedia. 13/03/2014 <Web >

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Entertainment