Movie Review: Need for Speed

Need for Speed started as a series of racing games published by EA (Electronic Arts) originally released in 1994. It is the most successful racing game series in the world.

So, it was logical for EA to work alongside DreamWork Studios to make the film version.

After a quick google, I was surprised to find a significant number of negative reviews on this movie, all of which I disagree with. Forbes’ review stated if the film had been ‘15% less overtly dumb and 15% less pandering to the stereotypical boy audience’ it might have been enjoyable.

Well, Forbes, I am a huge fan of car films and Need for Speed just raced up to the top of my list. Oh, and I’m a girl too.

Aaron Paul, who you might recognise from the popular TV show ‘Breaking Bad’, stars as Tobey Marshall, a mechanic desperate to save his garage by partnering up with his rival, an ex-NASCAR driver called Dino Brewster (played by Dominic Cooper). Tobey and his team build an expensive, high-speed car to sell to broker Julia (Imogen Poots) and save their business.

That is, until the tension and competition between Tobey and Dino builds up to an unsanctioned, dangerous race and Dino frames Tobey for manslaughter. Tobey spends two years in prison, being released just in time for a high stakes, unground race where he plans to take his revenge on Dino (who puts a bounty on Tobey and his car).

The stunt drivers in this film do some very impressive things behind the wheel of some very impressive cars. The high quality and amazing creativity of the stunt work just elevates the rest of the film. The heart-stopping near misses and mind-shattering crashes will feed the adrenaline junkie hiding inside of you.

Imogen deserves a special mention for her shaping of ‘Julia’ as a character. She is not your stereotypical dumb, pretty blonde who has just been put in the film for added eye-candy. She is more than just ‘the girl’, she is portrayed as intelligent, witty and even as good a driver as the main man Tobey.

Need for Speed overall is a thrilling movie to watch. The technical aspects amaze, the plotline entices and the characters almost seem real. It’s reckless, realistic and my new favourite family film at a PG13.

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