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Need for Speed: Movie Review


"Need for Speed" is one of those films that needs managed expectations to be truly appreciated. At its core, it is one heck of an action film - one that uses practical effects and stunts to bring an unprecedented level of thrill that only the "real thing" (and not CGI effects) can provide. You can feel your heart-pounding and ear drums ringing with every engine roar and tires screeching as rubber rub against asphalt in a film that tickles the machismo inside of us. But sadly, "Need for Speed" is just all that. As expected, its pure action, pure racing and nothing more.

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is a former race car driver who currently owns an auto tuning shop in New York. Struggling to make ends meet, Tobey and his crew participate on illegal street races from time to time. During one of these races, Tobey meets his old-time rival Dino (Dominic Cooper). Dino offers Tobey a deal he can't refuse - restore a Shelby Cobra worth at least $2 million and Tobey will get 25% of its selling price. Unfortunately, Dino proves to be a devil in disguise as he frames Tobey for a crime he didn't commit. After serving his sentence, he is out for revenge to those who tricked him.

As expected, "Need for Speed" relies on its action to make this film barely watchable. And in fact, we do appreciate the film on its decision to use practical effects instead of CGI. Racing, in particular, just feels raw, primal and ultimately, more effective in bringing the thrill. Sound-wise, the film was also very effective. One of the things we enjoyed was not the soundtrack but in fact the engine sounds that sounds oh-so-sweet every time the characters step on the gas. Unfortunately, that's all she wrote in terms of good things to say about this film. The plot is complete garbage and while it gets better towards the end, it pushed our patience and common sense to their brinks. Worse, the film has side stories littered all over the place but completely forgets to develop them further. Another thing, while action films have their unbelievable aspects all the time, "Need for Speed" pushes logic aside completely. It is truly mind-boggling how a "famous" illegal street race goes unabashed or how our protagonists break the law every single scene and there are no signs of the cops anywhere. Overall, "Need for Speed" brings the thrill fast but that awesome feeling will subside as fast as it came.

Rating: 3 reels





Why you should watch it:
- great action and racing
- we loved the audio implementation

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- plot is complete garbage
- acting was so-so

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