Need for Speed’ pleases action seekers
Based on one the most successful racing video game franchises today, the stunt-heavy, action-packed “Need for Speed” debuted in theaters March 14. This latest manifestation of America’s love for muscle cars and the open road must be taken at face value in order to be enjoyed. There isn’t more substance to this film than the car chases, explosions and action for action’s sake.
“Need for Speed” casts Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) in the lead as Tobey Marshall, a street racer with a lust for revenge after spending two years imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, framed in connection to his best friend Little Pete’s street racing related death. The villain in this story is Dino Brewster, played by Dominic Cooper (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer”), a wealthy capitalist who was actually the one responsible for Little Pete’s fiery death when he ran Little Pete off the road in order to prevent him from winning a race. Dino is the object of Tobey’s lust for revenge throughout the movie and their rivalry is what drives the plot.
It is an interesting change of pace for Paul to play a character as un-evolving as Tobey Marshall after coming to fame in a role as the deep and dynamic Jesse Pinkman in “Breaking Bad.” In “Need for Speed”, what you see is what you get-the acting and dialogue are exactly what one would expect from a boy’s club action-thriller, which makes it a surprising turn for Paul. The film is full of predictable action movie catch phrases like “Let’s settle this behind the wheel”. “
Need for Speed” is the first major wheel-man film since the late 2013 death of Paul Walker, the star of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, the biggest racer franchise to date. One has to wonder if director and stuntman Scott Waugh (“Spider-Man”, “Act of Valor”) thought of Walker and the timing of the release of this film at all when filming some of the ex- plosive crash scenes that are quite similar to the way Walker died in real life just mere months ago.
“Need for Speed” is definitely worth the watch if you’re seeking raw action, fast cars and can ignore a subpar plot. Any fans of the video game franchise of the same name, “The Fast and the Furious” franchise and “Gone in Sixty Seconds” will love this movie.
Brett Montana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.