Film Review: ‘Need for Speed’ Also Has Need for a Better Script

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CHICAGO – In interviews to promote the movie, Aaron Paul has said that he was chosen by Steven Spielberg himself to be the lead in this high-speed action thriller, while the executive producer was binge-watching “Breaking Bad”. Those are certainly some undeniable cool points that I can’t blame him for mentioning, regardless of how the movie is received. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

It’s an understandable decision, even if it was based solely on Paul’s formidable work on the award-winning AMC series. He may be a solid choice to play an expert street racer, but Spielberg and the other bigwigs at DreamWorks should’ve been more selective with who they chose for screenwriting duties. If the studio was attempting their own shot at a “Fast and Furious” franchise, they could’ve at least brought in a co-writer to help out with characterization and dialogue. But, considering this a movie based on over twenty popular video games from Electronic Arts, all we can really anticipate are some amazing stunt work and an obscene amount of collateral damage.

After the death of his father, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is left to keep Marshall Motors, the family body shop in upstate New York afloat. He may have a reliable and talented crew, but the bank is calling and he could sure use the money. An opportunity arises when longtime rival, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) offers them a gig restoring a particularly famous Shelby Mustang. Despite bad blood with Dino, who’s currently dating Tobey’s ex, Anita (a wasted Dakota Johnson), taking a surmountable cut of the vehicle’s lofty sale price is too hot to pass up.  

Once the job is done, an envious Dino invites Tobey and Little Pete (Harrison Gilbertson), his groupie and Anita’s younger brother, to a friendly competitive race of Koenigsegg Ageras along highways and open roads. It ends disastrously with Dino purposefully flipping Little Pete to a fiery demise, leaving Tobey to blame and sending him to prison for two years. 

When he gets out, Tobey has two things on his mind: revenge and racing. He calls the owner of that Shelby Mustang up and offers to race it on the DeLeon, a invitation only outdoor race that Dino will be driving in, hosted by Monarch (Michael Keaton), an eccentric and reclusive host. A deal is made, requiring Tobey to reluctantly accept automotive analyst/dealer, Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) as his passenger. The two set out on a cross-country trek to California to enter the race, trailed by his loyal pals, Joe (Ramón Rodríguez), Finn (Rami Malek) on land and pilot Benny (Scott Mescudi, aka Kid Cudi) offering overhead assistance in the air. With Tobey breaking parole, the authorities cast a nationwide net, making the road trip to DeLeon an intense one. Add to that Dino putting a price on Tobey’s head and the potential for death, incarceration and vehicular damage is high. 

“Need for Speed” opens everywhere on March 14th. Featuring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton. Screenplay by George Gatins. Directed by Scott Waugh. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for David J. Fowlie’s full review of ”Need for Speed”

Aaron Paul
Tobey (Aaron Paul) Has the Itch in ‘Need for Speed’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

StarContinue reading for David J. Fowlie’s full review of ”Need for Speed”

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