Do you love cars?  Are you programmed that things seem to slow down the faster you go? Well fasten your seat belts as Director Scott Waugh – along with actor Aaron Paul –  who is still fresh off his high from playing the role of Jesse Pinkman in BREAKING BAD – take you on a joy ride you won’t soon forget with their latest film – NEED FOR SPEED.

As we meet Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), he is trying to keep his garage open and his life from railing off the skids.  Enter Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), racing car driving legend, who needs the services of Tobey and his guys to put the finishing touches on the most exclusive mustang in the world.   As his boys beg Tobey not to get into bed with Dino, Tobey follows his gut and agrees to work for him, needing the funds he has promised to keep the garage afloat.

The time has come to unveil their creation to the world, when Tobey is introduced to Julia Maddon         (Imogene Poots), the beautiful race car aficionado who is as talented in driving the cars, as she is in knowing their net worth. 

Dino manages to get his asking price for “the mustang” – and offers Tobey and his friend Pete (Harrison Gilbertson) an opportunity to race Dino – WINNER TAKES ALL – or if Tobey loses – he doesn’t’ get his 25% of the money Dino owes him.   Triumph turns to tragedy as Tobey is beating Dino in their street race, only to have to watch Dino take out Pete in the process.

Dino sets up Tobey too, who is sent off to prison for manslaughter, being accused of killing Pete.  Wanting to clear his name and make Dino pay, Tobey is released from prison and immediately contacts Julia to acquire “the mustang” to race in the DELEON – and exclusive “invitation only” street race – put in place by none other than ex-race car driver extraordinaire “MONARCH” (played by Michael Keaton).

Will Tobey be able to get invited to the DELEON so that he can clear his name and make Dino pay for killing Pete?  Will Dino make sure that Tobey gets nowhere near the DELEON – even putting a bounty on his head to seal the deal?  And will Julia and Tobey realize that they have more in common than just their love of cars with engines over 900 horsepower?

I give NEED FOR SPEED a B- :  As you can probably guess, movies of this genre are not usually something I run out to see, unless I am appeasing the SPEED DEMON that I live with on a date night.   But, I must say, that between the storyline and the 3-D sequences actually making you feel like you are in the car flying down the road, I was intrigued to continue to give this film a chance.  Paul is exceptional too, showing a more diverse range of emotion than I ever experienced in his acting on BREAKING BAD.  Add the chemistry between Paul with his crew consisting of Rami Malek (of Night at the Museum 1 & 2 and The Twilight saga – Breaking Dawn), Benny (Scott Mescudi) and Joe (Ramone Rodriquez), and his passenger seat companion Poots, and this film turned into quite an enjoyable movie experience. Plus add the joy I felt seeing Michael Keaton on the BIG SCREEN AGAIN – and I was along for the ride.  So even if you aren’t one of those people who enjoys things moving really fast – like me – You can still enjoy watching NEED FOR SPEED……….Vroom, Vroom!

Kathy Kaiser  

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