Need for Speed, based on the eponymous video game, is the perfect movie to go to with friends at the end of board exams. There is so much energy and naiveté in Need for Speed that it makes the Fast and Furious franchise seem middle-aged. Casting Aaron Paul as the lead is a masterstroke for isn’t his Breaking Bad all a craze amongst the hipsters? Apparently executive producer Steven Spielberg binge watched the series. There you go.
So Paul plays Tobey, a mechanic in New York who tweaks performance cars. He is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. After serving his term, Tobey is out for revenge against those who wronged him and what better way to do so than with the mother of all races?
The cars are cool, Dominic Cooper as the dastardly Dino has a lot of fun. Michael Keaton as the eccentric Monarch who hosts and runs the underground competition is obviously having more fun in this movie rather than as Raymond Sellars in Robocop. Imogen Poots is cute as Julia, the Brit girl with serious attitude. The movie is young for its celebration of the underground with the race being followed online rather than on conventional media.
The funky cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’ adds a non-deadening riff to the proceedings. The highlight of the film has to be one of the characters walking out of his stuffy job. It ranks up there with Bridget Jones telling her smarmy boss, Daniel Cleaver, what she’d rather be doing with Saddam Hussein instead of working within 10 yards of him.
Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramón Rodríguez, Michael Keaton
Director: Scott Waugh
Storyline: All life’s unfairness is settled with a race
Bottomline: Fast and delirious