BY: PAULA ESPARZA
Need for Speed is sure to be the next big thing in car-racing movies now that the Fast Furious franchise is nearing an end. Directed by Scott Waugh and starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Michael Keaton, and Seth Mescudi (Kid Cudi), this video game adaptation takes the audience on a thrilling cross-country trip into the prestigious world of underground street racing. The story follows Toby Marshall (Aaron Paul) and his quest for revenge against long-time rival Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) as he races to get from New York to California in two days. Toby is sent to prison for two years following the unexpected death of his close friend.
Upon being released, Toby is determined to get into the exclusive De Leon race which is held at an undisclosed area in California in order to beat Dino and get justice once and for all. With the help of his crew and Julia, played by Imogen Pootons, he will have to avoid law enforcements and escape a bounty hunt.
Scott Waugh wanted fans of the video game to be able to distinguish the film as a Need for Speed movie and because of this, many of the racing scenes were filmed from the point of view of the driver and the audience gets a view similar to the one they would see if they played the video game.
There are several exhilarating racing shots that are not only fun to watch, but remarkable to look at as well. There was no CGI and the use of such cinematography helps NFS set it apart from the typical car racing movies we have grown accustom to watching. The use of extravagant sports cars adds a unique touch to the theme of the movie as they explore a more lavish take on the traditional street racing life.
However, the movie would have benefited if the relationships in the movie were explored with more depth to allow audiences to have a better understanding of the characters and their motives. Some of the storylines lacked the proper backstory and made some scenes feel rushed and seemingly unimportant. Besides Toby and Benny (Paul and Cudi), the rest of the characters were unimpressive and almost forgettable. It’s Aaron Paul’s great acting skills that really shine through and help make this movie what it is.
Overall, it is a good car-action movie with a heart-felt story, but it could have been better if there was more interesting characters and if there was better reasoning for the decisions characters made.