The only other movie genre that is as predictable, common, and formulaic as the romantic comedy is the high speed action car racing flicks.
Need for Speed
The only other movie genre that is as predictable, common, and formulaic as the romantic comedy is the high speed action car racing flicks. It is the guy’s way of getting equal balance in the theater setting. With each new film the bar is raised slightly until the cars get faster, the stunts more daring, and the stakes higher. In the new action crime drama Need for Speed the bar might be completely annihilated.
When street racer Tobey Marshall (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul) is framed by an extremely wealthy business associate (Dominic Cooper) and ends up doing jail time, all he can think of is revenge. His chance comes in the form of an underground, winner takes all, cross country race. Aided by a beautiful and car savvy sidekick (Imogen Poots) they try and out race, out plot, and outlast the competition.
This film is a car lover’s dream. Normally street racing films have all the tricked out Honda’s and flame covered Toyotas. This one uses all the high end cars that many have never heard of much less seen racing on the big screen. Jaguar, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, and Maserati become as important as the real life characters driving them. These machines are sleek, fast, and expensive. And of course many get completely demolished.
Even as predictable as the film is it does have some intriguing characters and story elements. The idea of a secretive, invitation only, cross country race masterminded by a secluded car enthusiast (Michael Keaton) is helpful in setting this one apart. Add to that the over the top and ground breaking stunt driving, directed by the king of car scenes Scott Waugh, and you get an energetic, action packed thrill ride.
Aaron Paul may not be known to many but his stealthy gaze and intense mannerisms make him a great fit for this film. He is so focused on what he is doing that you are instantly riveted to the moment. Marshall is a character you root for and you want to see him stick it to the bad guy. It helps that Cooper plays this arrogant, smarmy, detestable rich kid nicely.
Need for Speed is rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language. It is certainly meant for older male audiences and parents should waive the caution flag when it comes to younger, more impressionable viewers. This genre is not for everyone but those who like their movies fast and furious will salivate all over this one. I gave it 4 out of 5 tire rotations simply for what it brings to those who love these films.
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