Need for Speed Review

Based on the video game series created by Electronic Arts
Rating: PG-13
U.S. Release date: March 14, 2014
Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek,
Scott Mescudi, Dakota Johnson, Harrison Gilbertson and Michael Keaton
Director: Scott Waugh
Studio: Dreamworks Pictures
Screenplay by: George Gatins
Genre: McQueen Cool meets Stallone Muscle
Recommendation: 4 out of 5 Wheels

Art imitates Art, as DreamWorks Entertainment brings the most popular interactive video game of all time, “Need For Speed,” to the big screen. But don’t think you’ll be a non-participant in this All-American street rumble, for the plot, the characters and the cars will suck you in like a tornado on wheels.

American movies have always hailed the grit and determination of rugged individualism through characters like Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. But now we see a transition that started with the “Need For Speed” video game in 1994. The automobile has replaced the gun.

“Need For Speed” digs deep into the high stakes world of underground car racing. And like all great stories of men who conquer, at its center is revenge and redemption.

Tobey Marshall races in the underground circuit where big cash is at stake. He’s a lunch pail auto mechanic from Mt. Kisco, New York whose shop is left with a pile of debt following his father’s death.

He is approached by his nemesis, the arrogant, stylishly dressed Dino Brewster, with a proposition to build the fastest Mustang in the world. He ensures Tobey it will be a cash windfall that will save his shop from going under.

Enter the only character to rival the hot Mustang, the sexy and sophisticated British car broker Julia Madden. She brokers the deal for the car which leads to an impromptu race between Dominic, Tobey, and his best friend Little Pete.

The race ends in tragedy, and the slippery Dominic evades the scene leaving Tobey holding the bag and a two year prison sentence. While Dominic extends his fortune, Tobey plots his revenge.

Upon his release, Tobey breaks parole and joins forces with car broker Julia Madden. They travel to San Francisco in 48 hours to race in The De Leon, the Super Bowl of underground racing. Their hot, bristling, sexy banter is only rivaled by the race itself.

The De Leon is a tour de force of cinematic magic. In the end, what is revealed is not an act of simple revenge. For Tobey Marshall proves a car can also be a means to redemption.