Need for Speed
Need for Speed is based on the successful racing game franchise of the same name. The game incorporates police interference into its high-speed street racing format – the main element linking the film to the game. The film begins with the imprisonment of Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) for a crime he didn’t commit, setting up the rest of the movie as his quest to clear his name and seek vengeance. The threat of the police as they plague Marshall’s journey throughout the rest of the film adds a layer of tension and realism as the outlandish stunts and driving rarely go unnoticed by the law.
Paul, famous for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad – for which he gained ten award nominations and won five – takes the lead role of in Need for Speed. Paul brings a familiar believable desperation to the role of the underdog hero with a big heart. He plays the character as one who, unlike typical action movie protagonists, breaks down in tears periodically as his grief resurfaces. Paul has an ability to maintain the undercurrent of his character’s proximity with breaking point, which retains the audience’s interest in the harrowing adversities Marshall faces and keeps the tension high.
Need for Speed is fast-paced from the offset, with clever racing action sequences unfolding out of the main plot organically and unobtrusively. In a film filled with so much action, it is remarkable that writers George and John Gatins manage to create characters that the audience can truly emotionally invest in. Tense car chases are punctuated with quick-witted dialogue, giving the audience space for laughter. The authentic friendships binding the core group of characters underpins the action with an essential human element, ensuring the film holds more weight than other action films with flimsy and expositional narratives.
At times villain Dino Alonzo (Dominic Cooper) and main love interest Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) are a little clichéd, but that detracts little from a movie that is otherwise exhilarating, engaging and stylish.
Need for Speed is released nationwide on 12th March 2014.
Watch the trailer for Need for Speed here: