Need For Speed


Come on, give us a brake...

With 150 million units sold, Electronic Arts’ Need For Speed is the most successful racing videogame series of all time. But don’t bank on this tie-in movie gaining the same sort of longevity. While it would love to kick-start a franchise like The Fast & The Furious, it will take a miracle for that to happen.

On the surface, NFS has a lot going for it. Former stuntman Scott Waugh at the helm; a hot-to-trot cast, led by Breaking Bad’s effortlessly likeable Aaron Paul; and more cool cars than Jeremy Clarkson’s driveway. Unfortunately, it’s also got a clanging script from debutant George Gatins, bogged down by dreary dialogue, flawed logic and appalling characterisation.

Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a street racer who’s jailed after being falsely convicted of killing of his friend during an illegal race. The real culprit is old rival Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), who lured Tobey towards his fate after asking him to soup up a classic car for a profit share.

Emerging from prison, Tobey is desperate for revenge – which comes in the form of a cross-country race organised by a mystery benefactor (Michael Keaton). Joining Tobey is Julia (Imogen Poots), the British girl who brokered the sale of the car Tobey and Dino worked on. Ludicrously, Julia’s boss is foolhardy enough to let her enter the race with his priceless vehicle.

Need For Speed gets it right in one area: the stunts are pure adrenalin shots – from a wonderful cross-freeway leap that will leave your jaw hanging to a stunning helicopter car-lift. So where do the problems lie? Let’s start with the clichéd characters, from Cooper’s all-in-black villain to Poots’ posh totty who – surprise, surprise – knows more about engines than Jenson Button (“never judge a girl by her Gucci boots,” she says).

Then there’s the plot. For a film that rushes along at 100 mph, you can also see the twists a mile off. Lacking F&F’s urban credibility, this is a well-behaved younger brother; the end result is like a poor man’s Cannonball Run. Come back Burt Reynolds – all is forgiven.


The cars are hot, the action is decent, but the characters and plot need a serious tune-up.

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Film Details

User Reviews

    • matthewbrady

      Mar 16th 2014, 12:52


      Fast and furious rip-off. After being framed for something that he didn't do, a street racer leaves prison with revenge on his mind. Entering into a cross-country race he plans to get back at the wealthy partner who sent him to prison. But his one-time partner hears about the plot and puts out a bounty on his head just before the race begins. This movie has all the action and cars are flying all over the place and when all of that happened I just looked at my watch I was so bored during all of that. The movie has good stunts and at parts good action but the rest of the film lacks on story and characters. Aaron Paul the actor from Breaking Bad is better then this I mean in the hit TV show Breaking Bad he was awesome and funny but in this movie it's like watching a maanequin on screen.

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    • StrapMouse

      Oct 11th 2014, 15:32


      The most unfairly reviewed movie of 2014, I think critics are being biased now. They see it's a video game adaptation, they simply assume and I reckon a lot of them just don't bother paying attention to the whole film. A lot of game adaptations haven't been good but this one is an exception. Need For Speed captures the intensity and thrills of the successful game franchise and adds in a solid revenge story with cool characters, truly amazing stunt work and total racing perfection. Aaron Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a street racer who joins a cross country race with revenge on his palette after he was framed by a business associate who places a massive bounty on his head as the race starts. Aaron Paul takes his place as a potential new screen hero, I thought he was tremendous moving on completely from Breaking Bad, there's not an essence of Jesse proving that he has range. Imogen Poots brings British talent and wit and I loved the chemistry between her and Paul, plus the scene where she shouts "You see the bus right? THE BUS! THE BUS! THE BUS!" had me laughing, she's great. Kid Cudi's acting debut was actually very good, he's the eyes in the sky for our driving hero and I like his ability to make us laugh even when the action is in full throttle. I'm not a car junkie but blimey this made me drive back home like a madman, within reason of course, the feeling of going fast and living on the edge was alive in this movie, I felt like the driver thanks to the bumper cams and Scott Waugh's ability to put you in the driver's seat at all times. Would I watch this again? Immediately, the 3D made me gasp, I felt close to the action and I never say that as it's rather cliche but seriously, you feel like you're in control. This is breathless entertainment, adrenaline pumping, jaw dropping, eye watering, roaring spectacle that drives at 230mph and never stops. This is the car movie I've been waiting for, Fast and Furious has some competition.

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