I remember my first time playing the video game Need for Speed when it was released on the 3DO in the mid-90’s as was, hands-down, one of the best games to be released on the doomed console. As popular as the game series has been, it’s a real surprise there hasn’t been a movie adaptation for it sooner. Well the wait is finally over though, as we’ve finally got a Need for Speed movie starring Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame that may not hold a candle to fast car movies such as the Fast and the Furious series, but it’s enough to keep viewers revving their engines.
The plot follows Tobey Marshall (played to bad-ass perfection by Aaron Paul), a talented mechanic and street racer who along with his friends / team create a Mustang that passes 230 mph which pockets them half-a-million dollars. Of course things don’t stay happy for long with Tobey’s rival Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) coming into the picture and talks him into betting that money on a race between Dino and Tobey’s friend Pete. Without spoiling anything, things go wrong and Tobey is set up for a crime he didn’t commit while also losing the money to Dino.
After being released from prison some years later, Tobey wants nothing but revenge. But in order to do that he has to build up his money by participating in illegal street races which eventually leads him to the ultimate race called the De Leon, which is run by the infamous Monarch (played nicely evil by Michael Keaton). It’s up to Tobey and his sponsor’s representative named Julia (Imogen Poots) to make a plan to win the race and get payback on Dino and anyone else who gets in the way.
It may not be as fun or action packed as some of the other fast car genre films out there, but I enjoyed Need for Speed. Aaron Paul brings the attitude that made him famous in Breaking Bad to the film perfectly, while everyone else is well cast too, especially Dominic Cooper and Michael Keaton playing the evil and rich villains that viewers will love to hate. The action and racing is just enough to get your engine going and keep it there until the finish, especially watching it here on Blu-ray with high-definition, crystal clear visuals and sound. All in all I thought it made a great popcorn movie that anyone will like as long as their expectations aren’t too high going to the starting line.
After the finish line has been crossed, there’s a few extra features waiting for viewers in the pit area. There’s audio commentary featuring director Scott Waugh and actor Aaron Paul who have fun discussing the film as you watch. “Capturing Speed: Making an Authentic Car Movie” has director Scott Waugh, Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, producer-writer John Gatins, executive producer Steven Spielberg and other crew members going over how the cars used in the movie were made, training the stars for the intense driving sequences and more. There’s a few other extras such as “Monarch & Maverick Outtakes” that have Cooper and Keaton staying in their villainous roles off camera for some fun outtakes, and more extras that will keep viewers busy for awhile after the movie ends.
It may not have the spark of the Fast and the Furious series, but Need for Speed is still a road trip worth taking thanks to it’s great cast and fast car action. This is made even better on Blu-ray featuring amazing high-definition visuals and audio along with HD extras as well. If you’re looking for a fun, fast paced action film for your pit crew, you’ll want to drive on down and score a copy of Need for Speed.