Critics' Corner: Need for Speed

All the things you assume about "Need for Speed" are all pretty accurate; it is juvenile, another "Fast and Furious" type movie and it is pretty much from beginning to end a car race, car chase, car crash type movie. While you may not like that type of thing, "Need for Speed" thankfully has more going on than just what its videogame origin promises. Fortunately, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), who plays Tobey Marshall, is a fantastic and passionate actor and heâ??s joined by an entire group of actors and characters that will stick in your mind long after the film is over.

Watching the film, I couldnâ??t help thinking that Tony Scott and Don Simpson left a mark on the world they have left behind. I kept thinking that it had that "Top Gun", "Beverly Hills Cop", "Days of Thunder" type feel to it. Everything in the film was just larger than life with beautiful sceneries, machismo splashed with comedy and characters that are as much over-the-top as the premise of their actions. Tobey Marshall is the â??Maverickâ?? type; loaded with skill but he canâ??t seem to control it when he needs to. Maybe my love of those great Scott/Simpson/Bruckheimer movies of the 80s clouded my vision, but I felt it and it was a good thing.

Tobey Marhsall is an A-class street racer and with that comes a strange sensation that you will have to have to overcome in order to enjoy the film."Need for Speed" is based upon a videogame and with that, you have to remember that this is absurdity. You have to think of "Need for Speed" as you would have thought about the Sylvester Stallone movie "Death Race 2000" from the 70s. When Marshall and his racing partners crash and weave through normal everyday traffic, you will hate them because they are the kind of people you would hate if you were driving to work on a Tuesday morning, but you have to forget that. If you canâ??t overlook that, then you wonâ??t enjoy the film.

Despite some poorly plotted and unrealistic moments toward the end, "Need for Speed" remains a cut above the rest when it comes to action/racing films. If youâ??re assuming that it is just a bunch of racing and ridiculousness, than you would be wrong and right. It is about racing and ridiculousness, but within that are beautifully drawn characters with passionate purpose and endless humor and excitement for what they do. The intelligence of the driving and the brilliance of the racing sequences put "Need for Speed" over-the-top. Thanks to Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots, who plays a character that most men can only dream about, "Need for Speed" is endlessly interesting and impossible not to care about.