“Need for Speed” gives a surprising boost

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“Need for Speed”: proof (and probably the only proof) that movies based on video games do not necessarily result in a mass eye-rolling, or the “why-did-I-buy-tickets-for-this-corny-movie” moment of regret from the audience. The concept of creating a movie from a video game should not work, but here, somehow it does.

In other words, this film is surprisingly good.

After being released from prison, mechanic and skilled street racer Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad”) joins a near-impossible cross-country race. What starts out as a revenge-rooted undertaking against ex-NASCAR racer Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), turns out to be a dangerous quest for redemption.

It is difficult to find a boring scene in this movie. From Aaron Paul doing his own stunts, to the authentic car wrecks (no CGI was used), there is hardly ever a dull moment. In fact, this film’s got the full package: it’s funny, it’s flirty, it’s thrilling, it’s maddening – even heartbreaking at times. There is no need to feel guilty about buying the large popcorn: with all the action and excitement that goes on, foot-tapping and seat-bouncing are anticipated. And best of all, being a Need for Speed gamer is not in any way an unwritten prerequisite for enjoying this movie.

While all the action is certainly entertaining, one thing should be kept in mind: this film is still indeed based on a video game, and as such has a relatively predictable plot and an ordinary screenplay. However if this fact is so much as considered, those components do little to detract from the overall experience of the film.

So, whether “Fast and Furious 6” didn’t quite do it for you, you want to see how Kid Cudi handles acting, or you need something stimulating for movie night, “Need for Speed” is a good option.

(Overall rating: 7 out of 10. Opens nationwide in theaters March 14.)

–March 14, 2014–

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