With all the thrills and vehicle mayhem lent to the film with a liberal hand, Need for Speed presents less thrilling and more callous mauling of cars and innocent humans that jerks the viewer from one situation to the other as though pressing a button on a video game scene.
Umm, hang on, that makes sense, Need for Speed is based on a video game! But while the games are legendary, and movie perhaps falls short.
The vehicles that relentlessly chase or topple make the viewers gasps for those breathers of comic relief that the video-game-adaptation is stingy about.
Toby Marshal [Aaron Paul], a greasy, blue collar mechanic, runs his father’s shop together with buddies Benny[Scott Mescudi], Finn [ Rami Malek] and Joe [Ramon Rodriguez].
Short on work, the shop faces closure unless a miracle happens.
To avert the closure not only Toby willy-nilly teams up with the crafty though wealthy car driver Dino Brewster [Dominic Cooper] at the same time agreeing with his apparent offer of a quarter percentage of profit share from a fancy car that he orders Toby to make but Toby also hopes to keep the business afloat with profit expected from a likely car sale to Julia Bonet [Imogen Poots], a woman trading in vehicles.
Toby-and-team do make the car but the cunning Dino has other plans once the car is made and sold; he runs over Toby’s best friend Pete [Harrison Gilbertson] in an unauthorised car race and puts the blame squarely on Toby.
Toby is put behind the bars. Two years later when he comes out, his sole aim is to avenge the death of Pete and how he would love to see Dino’s car turn into one flaming ball of fire.
To effect the revenge he must join in a cross-country car race and along with the sexy Julia goes for it all hog.
Dino comes to know of Toby’s intention of revenge for Pete’s killing and announces a bounty on Toby’s head. What follows is a wild riot of race and chase, with drivers, cops and bounty hunters all participating.
The car race movies abound in Hollywood but Need for Speed needs speed to get anywhere near a good car-race flick!
Paul is a good actor but exhibits lack of fire for the assigned role and Paul’s co-partner Poots is just a hot female. Period.
No chemistry between the two who share the confines of a car space. Perhaps aware of the lack of much needed zest in the film about cars, the Director adds a couple of helicopters a well as a Reporter for a commentary on how Paul is faring!
Gosh how a Fast-and-Furious Vin Diesel fan itches to leave the theatre!
By Joseph R
Rating: 2.0 stars