Friday, March 14 2014, 01:23 PM MDT
Movie Review: Need for Speed
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Scott Waugh
Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Scott Mescudi
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Recommended To: Aaron Paul fans, those looking for a substitute for the Fast & Furious franchise while it prepares its seventh installment.
Synopsis: Looking for revenge and glory Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a hotheaded street racer, drives cross country to compete in the Deleon, a secret race promoted by an enigmatic man known as Monarch (Michael Keaton).
Review: Despite the similarities to the Fast & Furious franchise it would be unfair to simply dismiss Need for Speed as an unnecessary clone based on its premise. Whereas the Fast & Furious is about a team (think Mission: Impossible) Need for Speed is more about a single driver (a la James Bond) with a very personal vendetta. That said, the two films have a similar tone (outrageous, over the top, exaggerated, etc.), feature a lot of the same sort of thrills and occasionally take themselves too seriously. Need for Speed doesn’t bank too heavily on its video game origins (in fact it feels like the advertising has deliberately avoided flaunting the connection), but it does feature a flimsy and clichéd plot filled with soap opera drama that feels exactly like what you’d expect from an arcade game. Aaron Paul does his best with what he is given, but at times screenwriter George Gatins is clearly far more interested in the journey of the Mustang than he is in its driver. Tobey Marshall and his sad story are secondary catalysts for the ridiculous street racing that dominates the film. It makes for mindless and forgettable entertainment, but if you’re okay with that there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy Need for Speed.
-Ryan Michael Painter