“Racers should race and cops should eat donuts.” This quote by racing radio jockey Monarch is what this movie is about. Tobey Marshal goes to jail when the law accuses him of being responsible for the accidental death of his best friend Little Pete. As soon as he exits prison, Marshall goes on a rampage across America to reach an exclusive and secretive drag race in California. Through this race Marshall hopes to get his revenge on Pete’s real killer, Dino Brewster. This film is an adaptation of the popular game series.
Unfortunately for Need for Speed, it is always compared to the Fast and Furious film franchise. It borrows from other drag race movies and television series from the past. Paul Walker’s death was just before the release of Need for Speed in movie theatres in February 2014. Yet, Need for Speed has enough of a claim as a new franchise based on a popular video game. But it will depend on its lead actor.
Aaron Paul who plays Marshall does not play well in a buddy film. While the rest of his supporting cast interacts well, he feels like an angry loner. He has little of the necessary chemistry to get the girl, Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) who stars with him for most of the film. Marshall's friends have more chemistry and appeal than him. Benny (Scott Mescudi) saving the day in various aircrafts and Finn (Rami Malek) who strips naked when he quit his job are funny. Paul looks angry and like a younger version of Nicolas Cage.
Without the benefit of a Paul Walker or a Vince Diesel but with the charisma of Nicolas Cage, Need for Speed entertains. Just focus only on the driving stunts. There is pure driving in this film where the cops chase the bandits throughout. It felt almost like the old Dukes of Hazzard with the Sheriff and Boss Hoggs chasing Marshall and Maddon. The concept cars were nice and some of the effects, like the speedometer on the windshield, were innovative.
The plot was predictable. I knew that Little Pete would die in the beginning of the movie and that Marshall would seek revenge. I didn’t even have to watch the trailer to guess that. Yet, it’s a perfect late night movie with a bunch of friends looking for something light to watch on a Friday night. The digital version of the film included on the Blu-Ray will only work on August 5th 2014. I have never used Disney’s DigitalCopyPlus service so I don't know how it compares with competitor Flixster.