As a massive Breaking Bad and Aaron Paul fan I will try to keep this one as unbiased as possible.
I remember the Need for Speed games from my childhood and my brother being a big fan. Purely for the fact you were encouraged to crash and perform take downs in order to achieve higher scores. (That enjoyment from destroying cars maybe something similarly enjoyed by most adults in GTA4 I presume). The Need for Speed empire has been available on most formats and spans around 20 games (and spin offs) since its birth in 1994. As of 2013 no more Need for Speed titles have been declared but since a movie has been released, who knows?
EA and DreamWorks took the opportunity to adapt the game for the big screen and did it by leading with a good old revenge story line. Tobey Marshall (played by Aaron Paul, swoon) has some serious beef with Dino Brewster (played by suave brit, Dominic Cooper) over an incident involving some speedy cars. I can’t really go into it much more than that as it’s a spoiler but the rest of the movie follows Tobey as he seeks his revenge by competing against Dino in a final race ‘De Leon’ based in San Francisco but only has 48 hours to get there.
Although it doesn’t sound much to those who haven’t played Need For Speed don’t be deterred; I really feel my review might differ a lot to other critics but I genuinely enjoyed this. It had tension, action and great backing from the supporting actors such as Ramon Rodriguez star of The Wire and Dakota Johnson star of the upcoming notorious Fifty Shades of Grey movie. There is a pretty epic bit with an army helicopter even if it is merged with a bit of a ‘lovey dovey’ scene. The fact that the film used no green screen and minimal special effects needs to be commended.
Saying that the film was missing ‘something’. Embarrassingly the film needed to have had a bit more enthusiasm. Dare I say it, a bit more Jesse ‘science, bitch’ Pinkman that we know Aaron Paul is capable of.
Unfortunately the ‘pretty girl who knows things about cars’ Imogen Poots managed to make the British accent sound super annoying on film, she should have followed suit with Dominic Cooper’s moody but smooth American twang. Also, Michael Keaton’s performance as Monarch controller of the supercar races let him down a little and rather than bringing out the ‘drama’ of a competition, he almost made it silly.
Adaptations are always open to criticism but I do recommend giving it a look and although I don’t think it would add much, it is available in 3D….if you’re into that.