Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.
The best way to describe ‘Need for Speed’ would be as Fast & Furious without the fun, and despite a likable lead performance from Aaron Paul, the film is trying too hard to be a serious movie. The story follows Toby Matthews (Aaron Paul), an excellent driver who ends up in jail due to an incident with a rival (Dominic Cooper), and comes out two years later looking to exact his revenge. I found the plot to be meandering after the opening 40 minutes, which were pretty good, and it took far too long to get to the concluding race. There’s little to fault in the trio of lead performances, with Cooper a serviceable villain and Michael Keaton’s hamming it up as best he can as a racing enthusiast with his own radio show.
The car chases themselves are well executed, but the stakes never really felt that high for some reason, and I was fairly bored by the end of the 2 hours and 10 minutes runtime. There’s also an element of the ‘tickbox’ with the story, with every cliche of the genre thrown in for good measure. Protagonist with tortured past. Check. Girl we know he’s going to end up with. Check. Personal grudge against main rival. Check. In summary, it’s just not that great, and for an easy to watch car chase movie, stick on one of the last 2 Fast & Furious films instead of going to see this.
Directed By: Scott Waugh
Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton