Matt Adcock’s film review: The cars are the stars in Need For Speed, but the cast are badly out of synch

“I do not fear, for you are with me. All those who defied me, shall be ashamed and disgraced. Those who wage war against me, shall perish. I will find strength, find guidance, and I will triumph.”

Monday, 17th March 2014, 1:22 pm
High octane thrills in Need For Speed

You’re right, that’s a paraphrase of Isaiah from the Good Book – and I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting it to feature as the ‘driving’ motivation in this movie inspired by the best selling Electronic Arts video game – the latest of which on the PS4 looks almost as good as this movie visually.

So here we have the tale of young hotshot car mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron ‘Breaking Bad’ Paul) who likes to indulge in a spot of illegal street racing.

But when he gets in over his head and one of his friends is killed Tobey is framed and jailed by love rival Dino Brewster (a swaggering Dominic ‘Captain America’ Cooper).

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High octane thrills in Need For Speed

Burning for revenge upon release he teams up with sexy British car enthusiast Julia Maddon (Imogen ‘28 Weeks Later’ Poots) and enters a winner takes all cross country race with a view to bring down Brewster.

What follows is a mixture of insane adrenaline-fuelled car action, made so much better by the lack of CGI silliness which mars films like the Fast & Furious franchise.

Need for Speed is a turbo-powered full speed pedal to the metal race-em-up that only stalls when the cast stop driving and try to act.

For sheers balls-to-the-wall auto-thrills, director and former stunt man Scott ‘Act of Valor’ Waugh brings his A game, but if you’re looking for credible characterisation, believable dialogue and/or any semblance of a thought-provoking plot you’re looking much further down the alphabet.

The cars are the real stars here, and if you’re a Top Gear fan or have played and enjoyed any of the Need For Speed games, then there is much to make you shout ‘OOOhhhh that’s cool’ here. In fact for maximum enjoyment you should try to zone out during the non-driving bits and just enjoy the feast of four-wheel frolics.

The car chases are some of the best ever committed to film and boast the kind of stunts that the Ryan Gosling’s Driver performs when not doing getaways. Old school, high danger crashes, jumps and a kinetic sense of speed are actually for once enhanced by the 3D.

Faster and more furious than certain other automobile action flicks – if you feel the need, the need for speed should be priority viewing!