Film Review – Need for Speed

need-for-speed poster

Film Review – Need for Speed – Directed by Scott Waugh

Release Date – March 13th 2014

There’s two ways to review Need for Speed – As a video game brought to life for the big screen, or for what it is – a car chase movie.

Hollywood may not have dished out too many interesting video game adaptations beyond Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat, but it does have a long history of fantastic films about cars and racing.

From The Cannonball Run to Smokey and the Bandit, through to Days of Thunder and the Fast and Furious franchise, producers know how to dish up a vehicle-vehicle that will bring the audience to the cinema by the carload.

Need for Speed is the most successful racing video game series in the world with over twenty titles clocked up over twenty years.

In the film version Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman) plays Tobey Marshall. A mechanic in need of some cash.

When a street race against his old rival Dino Brewster (played by Domininc Cooper) goes wrong, he ends up in jail for two years.

On his release he embarks on a cross country race against the clock to make it to the East Coast in time for the De Leon race, a secret invite only street race where the winner takes all the losers cars, promoted by a shock jock called Monarch played by Michael Keaton.

Keaton was pretty good in the recent Robocop remake, but his talents are wasted and he is almost entirely unnecessary here.

But we don’t go to see a movie like Need for Speed for the characters and dialogue.

It’s the cars we want and it’s cars we get.

Directed by a career stuntman turned director Scott Waugh (who delivered Act of Valor in 2012) the focus is purely on making the racing, wrecking and joyriding thrilling and dangerous and these elements of the film are top notch.

Expect a moral free zone with no heed to road rules or personal responsibility, just a need for speed.

Big dumb fun.

3 stars.

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