Coming into this movie I was a little worried that it would be another take on the Fast and the Furious, but, though it has some comparisons to that franchise, it does stand on its own and provide quite the ride for your eyes. There is no great heist and no rival gang to worry about here. There is, however, a lot of cops and the danger of the open road, which is only made more dangerous when you’re going over 200 mph.
In the movie Need For Speed, directed by Scott Waugh, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) plays a former racer named Tobey Marshall who returns home to make some money for him and his auto shop. His shop gets a job courtesy of Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) who wants him to modify a Mustang Shelby GT500 so it can be resold at a high price. Tobey reluctantly agrees and in turn meets the buyer’s representative Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots). Later on, after some unfortunate circumstances, Tobey ends up in prison for a manslaughter charge he didn’t commit. Once he gets out after two years, he arranges a road so he can enter a secret street race called The DeLeon hosted by an online personality called the Monarch, played by Michael Keaton. This trip of course breaks his probation so, with the help of Julia and her boss’ Shelby, they race against time and law enforcement in order to get to California.
I had the luxury of viewing this movie in 3D and most times that doesn’t make much of a difference for me, but in this case a lot of the camera shots are so up close and personal it really puts you into those cars. The street races are treacherous and you feel some actual concern for the innocent bystanders that get caught up in unintended crashes. The movie doesn’t waste time, though, as you are pushing forward with tension and adrenaline.
On this wild joyride across the country, there are some humorous moments and that is helped by Tobey’s crew. They manage to keep up no matter how fast he’s going and even get farther along then he does, but he is the one with the cops on his tail. One of them is Benny (Scott Mescudi) who is the eyes in the sky as he operates a Cessna, a news chopper, and an Apache helicopter. His other helpers are Finn and Joe who provide their share of assistance from the ground. The humor really works here and compliments the action scenes while keeping the momentum of the story moving along.
The movie does have some plots holes and you do have to suspend disbelief, but it’s a fun movie plain and simple. The important thing here is you do want to see Tobey race and you want to see if he can pull it off. The best things about this film are the races and also Tobey’s crew who immerse the whole movie in an appropriate amount of humor.
I recommend this movie for anyone who enjoys fast cars, seeing Aaron Paul not play a deflated beaten down meth cook for once, and those great shots on the road that keep your eyes glued to the screen. This movie lets you put the pedal to the medal and not get in trouble for it. You may not be able to let loose on the freeway, but this movie will do it for you and then some. Safe travels.