Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Need For Speed (Scott Waugh, 2014)

Scott Waugh is at the helm of Need For Speed, a high-octane cinematic adaptation of the best-selling video game. Aaron Paul (best known for Breaking Bad) is on leading man duties, and this impressively choreographed racing thriller delivers on its promise of flash cars, cocky drivers and plenty of rubber-burning mayhem.

In a last attempt to save his struggling garage, blue-collar mechanic Tobey Marshall (Paul), who with his team builds and races muscle cars on the side, reluctantly partners with a wealthy, arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). Just as a major sale to a British car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save the business, a disastrous, unsanctioned race results in Tobey being framed for manslaughter. Imprisoned, and mourning the loss of his friend and protégé, Tobey seeks revenge on Dino. Tobey has his chance, facing off against Dino in a secret, highly dangerous cross-country road-race with a massive purse.

Conveniently leaving prison just days before the scheduled event Tobey (with the thick-skinned Julia in the passenger seat) has just 45 hours to drive from the East Coast to the pre-race meeting at an unspecified Californian location to register for the race and learn where it will start. The journey there becomes the bulk of the film as the parole violator races across the country attracting the attention of hapless police patrols (by design as it turns out; a daring escape from a pursuit is for the benefit of a race audition video captured by his tailing entourage) and hardcore drivers pursuing a bounty placed (by Dino) on his head.

Continue reading at Graffiti With Punctuation.

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