Need For Speed

Like most of you, I remember sitting in front of the TV with a video game controller in my hand with the sound of a revving engine coming from the speakers. I distinctly remember the red car on the cover of the game that would eventually come to be the king of racing games. Now, the king of racing games is leaving the game console and heading to the theaters. It is based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever and one of the most successful video game franchises period. The franchise spawned about 20 games has sold over 140 million copies as of 2009 and now, Need For Speed comes to the big screen.

Aaron Paul in Need For Speed

Aaron Paul in Need For Speed

Directed by Scott Waugh, Need For Speed tells the story of Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul). Tobey Marshall was recently released from prison for a crime he did not commit. With revenge on his mind, Marshall races across country to get into the biggest underground race there is and to avenge the death of his friend.

Need For Speed might satisfy the hunger for beautiful and very fast cars but that’s about it. As far as interesting characters and a decent story, they must have gotten left at the starting line. Even with Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul in the driver seat, this movie doesn’t have enough drive to cross the finish line. The best part of Need For Speed is easily the cars and the races. The beautiful looking cars will impress most vehicle lovers and the effects used in some of the racing sequences will also impress, but that’s all the film really has to offer. As the film tries to impersonate the Fast and The Furious formula with the “family” of friends and the insane action sequences, it doesn’t improve on it. However, it doesn’t lower the bar either, if you enjoy the sequences from the Fast & Furious series you will most likely enjoy the racing sequences here as well. Yet, when the engines aren’t revving, the movie is in neutral. It’s plot seems thrown together and weak, also offering multiple flat characters that are just simply there.

The star of Need For Speed , Aaron Paul seemingly moved himself into the hearts of America with his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in AMC’s Breaking Bad. The actor won two Emmys for his role as the counterpart to Walter White, but this role is a step down for the actor. I’m not saying Paul’s acting skills took a leap, it’s the material he had to work with. Opposed to the deep and sometimes crazy Pinkman, Paul’s Need For Speed character is quite boring and flat. Though Paul’s talent shines a few times in the film, it is nothing compared to the spectacle he delivered on the AMC hit show.

Need For Speed is a film that offers some pretty awesome racing sequences but a weak story and boring characters. Even the acting power of the Breaking Bad actor, Aaron Paul will not make me race to see this film ever again.

1.5 out of 4 stars

-By Jacob R. Tiranno

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