Any petrol-heads out there looking for an automotive thrill ride to plug the gap between instalments of the Fast & Furious franchise will get their adrenaline fix from Need for Speed, a heroically outlandish car-race movie spun from the wildly successful video game series.
Brace yourselves for tyre-scorching action and metal-crunching mayhem galore as the film’s gutsy blue-collar hero, scrappy street racer Tobey Marshall played by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, puts the pedal to the metal trying to drive a gleaming muscle car from New York to California in less than 48 hours.
If he arrives in time he will get to enter maverick billionaire Michael Keaton’s high-stakes underground race – but slimy rival Dominic Cooper, determined to stop him, has placed a bounty on his head.
Glance in Need for Speed’s rear-view mirror and you’ll catch glimpses of such great 1960s and 70s car movies as Vanishing Point and Two-Lane Blacktop – Steve McQueen classic Bullitt even pops up on a drive-in screen at one point.
Just don’t expect any of those films’ existential cool or stripped-down rawness. As befits its $66million budget, Need for Speed is altogether more polished. Yet it still offers B-movie pleasures aplenty, and co-star Imogen Poot’s posh Brit – whom the plot somehow manages to squeeze into Paul’s passenger seat for the ride – is a plummy-voiced hoot.
Certificate 12A. Runtime 130 mins. Director Scott Waugh.
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