Need for Speed is the best video game to screen adaptation that we have come across. This does not mean that it is a perfect movie by any means, being held back by, at times, poor acting and a laughable dialogue, but this film still delivers in the action department and that’s what counts.
Aaron Paul leads the cast that includes the likes of Dominic Cooper and Kid Cudi, they all play their part to an extent, but they never feel like memorable characters. Aaron Paul, best known for his role of Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, has proven in this film that he is a character actor, and Tobey Marshall is not it, the poor dialogue holds him back from giving a stellar performance, in a way this Paul is no Paul walker. Although saying this, his character does his role, just not fantastically, Michael Keaton’s character of Monarch, the organiser of the race is too over the top to a point where it doesn’t fit in with the tone of the rest of the film. With this being said, you don’t go see a film like Need for Speed for the acting, you go see it for the cars and the destruction and it delivers to a point where it outdoes the fast and the furious franchise. With all of the actors doing their own stunts and with zero CGI used, the car scenes feel extremely authentic, to a point that you start to feel as if you are in the passenger seat. This is where Need for Speed stands out from the rest of the car racing centric films, the realism and the ferocity of the races and the crashes are incredible. Director Scott Waugh has invested a lot of the budget of the film towards the cars, from Mustangs to Lamborghinis, this film will not disappoint anyone that has a slight appreciate for cars. A film like this doesn’t need a perfect story or outstanding acting to entertain an audience, all it needs to do is provide an adrenaline rush through action, and, in this aspect, Need for Speed definitely delivers.
Although the story is extremely simple and straight forward, there are elements which I found refreshing and worthwhile. The main point that I’m talking about is how Waugh didn’t drown the movie in repetitious racing scenes, but rather made the majority of the film road tripping to the high staking race. This is such a better route of the film as it allows for Waugh to show off his action skills through many more different contexts, whether it be by a helicopter literally picking up a car, or rather fleeing from the cops in a Mustang, making this film a complete joy to watch. Writers George & John Gatins show their appreciation of classic car films through the references to such movies as; Smoking and the Bandit, Vanishing Point and Bullitt. Although, saying this, there are a lot of problems with the storyline that continually pop up, to a point that it is completely distracting from the rest of the film. The motivation of the main character is questioned to be sincere, if, at all, his actions are totally necessary, this is a complete downfall for this film, and it is disappointing. The soundtrack of the film is perfect as it feels just like you are playing one of the games, with the pace being amped up whenever a character is in a car, you will find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat with a smile on your face. Need for Speed is not a perfect movie, with sound acting, although at times it is laughable, and a basic script, this film is held back from greatness, in saying this, this movie achieves what it makes out to do, it is a badass car thrilling film that will not leave you empty handed.
Aaron Paul is a great actor, he has his moments in Need for Speed which feel incredibly genuine, but with a poor script he is made to make do with the little he has to work with. With zero CGI, Need for Speed will make you feel like you are in the passenger seat for the entire movie so enjoy the ride.
I give this film 8/10.