Need For Speed (2014)

Need for Speed (2014) PosterNeed to Cash In

Director: Scott Waugh
Running Time: 132 minutes
Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton

You're not fooling anyone, Dreamworks. It's evident this film came about as a result to cash in on the successful box office which The Fast and Furious franchise receives. What better way to do such a thing than by adapting a popular video game and starring a lead of one of the most popular shows in recent times?

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is newly released from prison, after being framed for his friends murder by an ex-partner (Dominic Cooper). The only goal on his mind is revenge, and joins an underground cross-country race to defeat his ex-partner, and clear his name.

It's clear Dreamworks wanted to cash in on Aaron Paul's popularity post-Breaking Bad, which makes it all the more unfortunate that he gives such little impression as the lead. Imogen Poots supports things with a spirited performance, but is relegated to little more than the romantic interest. Dominic Cooper chews the scenery as the moustache-twirling douchebag, as opposed to a credible antagonist for the star to face. Michael Keaton hams it up as the host of an underground race, but Kid Cudi tops things by making things cringe-worthy whenever he unfortunately appears onscreen.

It shows that the films focus is on the car races, as the script is in dire need of a major reworking. Despite George Gatins' efforts, the stock characters have little to distinguish them. The poor dialogue is as noticable the cliched and ridiculous moments, but the lack of logic and plot holes the size of the Sarlacc pit are what really catches the eye.


The fact that no traffic cameras are around to corroberate Tobey's story is ridiculous, as is his method of getting Ramon Rodriguez' character back on his crew. The fact that an ex-con on parole openly chooses to attract the attention of the police in a car he plans to use in a known race, as opposed to sitting down and talking with his old friend, is a testament to how ridiculous the overall proceedings are.

Tobeys motivation is primarily for revenge, which is done with little disregard for others involved in the vehicular destruction in the wake of the reckless driving makes it difficult to root for him. What's more is how hypocritical it is that his motivation for revenge is due to Dominic Cooper's antagonist doing the same thing, with the only difference being it affecting somebody he actually knows.

It must be said that director Scott Waugh does a good job of executing the driving scenes, with the addition of point of view shots giving more of a video game feel throughout. But nothing throughout gives a justification for this film receiving a running time of 130 minutes.

Need For Speed rides on the recognition of the Breaking Bad star headlining things and the video game series with the same name. This is made all the more evident by the poor script which has an excess of major plot holes where it lacks logic.