‘Need for Speed’ provides thrills, high octane and horse power

By Chelsea Lewis ,
Warning: this review will contain spoilers.

It is not often that video games can translate to the big screen. Most of the time video games do not contain enough of a storyline that could translate to a feature film that has character development and emotional elements that pull the audience into the film. Surprisingly, Need For Speed which was originally a video game, does that and more for audiences. This film is not only entertaining, it has heart, lots of horse power and non CGI special effects that have to be seen to believe.

Without a doubt, this is Aaron Paul’s film. Following his staring role on the AMC drama, Breaking Bad fans wanted to see more of Paul and what direction his career might head in following his time as Jesse Pinkman. This role for Paul as Tobey Marshall is not a far departure from his Pinkman character, but Paul does show that he can engage an audience and carry the entire film. The other actors in the film only help to move the storyline along, it is really Paul’s movie and the audience is just along for the ride.

As an actor, Paul brings out the emotional scenes in the films and keeps the audiences invested in this character and his journey to avenge his fallen friend. It was that kind of acting and compassion that made fans fall in love with Paul back on his Bad days.

The story focuses on Marshall who is attempting to right a wrong following the murder of his friend and car crew member, Pete. After being released from prison after two years, Marshall has only one goal, to take down the driver that killed Pete, and the stage is set for a race to the “DeLeon,” which is an invitation only race in California that features the best of the best in street racing. The race is held by the Monarch, who is played by Michael Keaton and steals the scene when he is on the screen.

The movie really hits its stride as the audience is taken on the long highway from New York to California. The adrenaline is full throttle and the movie does not let go of the gas pedal until the final scenes. Scott Waugh who directed the film brought that live action and intense feeling from the streets to the characters to life.

Waugh shows off his ability as a director to make the audiences feel like they are in the passenger seat of the car during the whole movie. From the camera angles to the dashboard cameras that help take the audience out of their movie theater seat and into the passenger seat, this film was designed to feel like the audience was a part of the action from start to finish.

Upon starting production on Need for Speed it was made clear that Waugh wanted the driving action to be real and to use as little CGI as possible. If fans see this movie knowing that, it will impress them even more. These are real cars, real stunt drivers and the action is captured flawlessly on film.

The film was very entertaining and proved that Paul will have a career long after his time on Bad but it is unavoidable, this film will be compared to the highly successful Fast and the Furious franchise. Yes, both films contain fast cars, good looking men and women and have “family” as the main moral of the story underneath the hood, but Need for Speed does try to be different in the styling of the film and the overall plot design. Speed also did not rely on CGI as much as the Fast films have. These two films are similar but Paul brings a different element to the film compared to that of Paul Walker or Vin Diesel, Paul makes this story more personal and invests audiences right away.

Need for Speed had heart, action and of course, horse power. Fans of racing will love this film but fans looking for a storyline driven movie will also not be disappointed with this feature. The movie would not have worked with Paul at the heart of it but fans can rest assured that this is without a doubt one of the best video games to ever be adapted for the big screen.

Be advised, when leaving the film, audience members right want to drive faster but the speed limits are still in effect.

A Need for Speed sequel could be a possibility but after seeing this film, movie fans might be left wondering what would happen if Fast and the Furious could cross over with this new high-octane world? After all, the first movie to cross the finish line wins.



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