Tuesday
August
04
2015
4:49 am
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 
‘Need for Speed’ a thrilling ride
March 14, 2014, 05:00 AM By Jessica Herndon The Associated

It takes a lot for a film based on a video game to impress a crowd these days, given the dazzling advancements in gaming technology. But “Need for Speed,” based on the hit EA Entertainment racing game that’s sold 150 million units, could now drive some of that success toward the box office.

Despite its clichid elements, this adrenaline-fueled stunt fest is an unequivocal thrill that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Starring “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul, “Need for Speed” is fiercely entertaining, loaded with beautiful cars, winding roads and racers in leather coats.

Since “Breaking Bad” ended last year, Paul has been making an impressive transition to film, starting with the indie drama “Hellion,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. In “Need for Speed,” he flexes his machismo as a street racer on a vendetta.

Following a two-year prison sentence for a crime he didn’t commit, mechanic and race driver Tobey Marshall (Paul) is determined to get revenge on Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), the man who framed him. To do so, Tobey drives from New York to California to battle Dino in a high-stakes race dubbed the De Leon.

Along for the ride are British car buff Julia (Imogen Poots) and Benny (Scott Mescudi, also known as recording artist Kid Cudi), the jovial airborne lookout of Tobey’s crew.

Written by first-timer George Gatins, who produced “She’s Out of My League,” the plot is heavy with questionable logic and monotonous dialogue. Modeled after classic 1960s and 1970s action films, where the cars were key, “Need for Speed” often attempts to be a dramatic thriller. But it’s best when consciously comical. Trite conventions, like Tobey’s brooding demeanor, punctuated by his deep monotone and acute stare, are effective, although overdone at times.

But Tobey isn’t always serious. When riding cross-country, the eccentric Julia gets him to loosen up. Their banter offers cute comedic relief and sets the stage for romance. Long gone are thoughts of his ex, Anita, played by upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson, who tests out her siren potential — and achieves it. But it’s the sexy, witty and accessible Poots who really shines. Michael Keaton, as the ridiculously animated mystery man behind the De Leon race, is another highlight.

Compared to the “Fast & Furious” franchise by way of fast cars, harrowing races and a band of brothers connected mostly by loyalty, not blood, “Need for Speed” is more like an underdeveloped sibling. It lacks the brutal and brawny gentleman quotient, perhaps the most delicious feature of “Furious.” Still, the boyish good looks of Paul and Cooper are appealing. But could they really save us in a pinch? Vin Diesel’s Dom in “Furious” seems more reliable.

Easily the best parts of this ride are the thrilling stunts and races. Stuntman-turned-director Scott Waugh puts us right in the driver’s seat as cars exceed 120 mph and spin through the air. First-person camera angles keep the action immediate and personal, just like the video game. Additionally, overhead views offer a sweeping scope of the races as the drivers speed past vineyards in California’s Mendocino County, where the De Leon race scenes were filmed.

Though the pace remains mostly high-octane throughout, it drags in the beginning and during the final face-off. But overall, this flashy underworld of super-charged machinery and intense action is a blast.

“Need for Speed,” a DreamWorks release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language.” Running time: 130 minutes. Three stars out of four.

———

MPAA definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

———

Follow Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind .

 

 

Tags: speed, action, races, tobey, speed,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
If the state of California had extra water, who or what should get it first?

Farmers
Natural habitat
Urban areas
Reservoirs
Don't know

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obama heralds impact of power plant greenhouse gas limits
WASHINGTON — Calling it a moral obligation, President Barack Obama unveiled the final version of h..
Weather helps crews battling massive California wildfire
LOWER LAKE, Calif. — Cooler, wetter weather helped crews make inroads Monday against a massive Nor..
US auto sales strong in July on SUV, luxury demand
DETROIT — Summer deals and big demand for SUVs and luxury vehicles kept U.S. auto sales strong in ..
Former trader given 14 years prison for market manipulation
LONDON — A British judge sentenced a former Citibank and UBS trader to 14 years in prison Monday a..
Sen. Schumer, comedian Amy Schumer call for more gun control
NEW YORK — Stand-up comedian and actress Amy Schumer is teaming up with New York Sen. Charles Schu..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County name change notice