Review: Here we go, another attempt at a video game to movie adaptation that looks to ride on mostly its title to fill seats in the theaters. I was nervous for this movie and with good reason, most film adaptions of games are at best passable as films with usually little substance. From the previews shown for NFS, it looked like it could go either decently or horribly bad. Well I’m happy to say it was way better than I expected.
“Need for Speed” tells the vengeance story of Tobey Marshall (played by Breaking Bads’ Aaron Pau)l, who lost his friend in a three man race for millions of dollars, due to his rival Dino Brewster(played by Dominic Cooper) clipping the back of his car so it crashes over the bridge. After he get out of jail he sets out to join a multi-million dollar race and must get from New York to San Francisco in two days with the help of a sports car dealer named Julia (played by Imogen Poots) and his mechanic friends.
The story is unremarkable at a first glance but as the movie picks up it gains steam. The acting is actually not bad, as I was expecting super campy with catch phrases like “Fast and Furious” does but the actors and actresses played it a bit more loose and real. Aaron Paul does a good job playing the hurt hero and props must go to him for doing all his own car stunts. They sent him to driving school so he could pull off all the cool stuff with no CGI or stunts. That is actually the best thing about this movie but I will get into later. A special mention has to be put out there for Michael Keaton. He has been making a comeback this year and this performance fit him perfectly. He played the Monarch who is the host of the big underground race Tobey is trying to get to. His performance is reminiscent of his older movies like Beetlejuice and it was entertaining every time he was on screen. Next to the cars he was the best part of the film.
Now speaking of the cars, I must say they are the reason to see this movie. Huge credit goes to director Scott Waugh. The man comes from a long line of stuntmen and wanted to do this film like the great car classics like Smokey and the Bandit”, “Bullet”, and “Vanishing Point”. It is that dedication to past films that truly make this movie worthwhile. All the stunts are performed by real people, no CGI effects. It is very apparent in the crashes of the film, which are shown in a stomach-turning way. The movie has this classic feel to it.
There you have it, this may be the best video game to movie adaption so far, mostly because it has very little to do with the video game and more with the films that inspired those games. It is nice to see actual stunts on screen, with Hollywood turning to special effects for more things, the fact that people still want to do the actual work is inspiring. Though not as brilliant and memorable as the films it tries to emulate, it still a worthwhile movie that deserves some attention. If you are into cars and good action films, give “Need For Speed” a shot. 7/10.