The moniker, “Based on a Video Game” holds little value or sense of excitement in today’s world (might have 10 – 15 years ago), after successive failures of one adaptation after another. So for a movie to be based on not just a game but a racing game, lowers the bar considerably. But the makers have judiciously evaded as much as possible a connection to the racing game franchise in hopes of connecting the movie with the Fast and Furious franchise.
Tobey (Aaron Paul), a street racer who lives by his own rules and gives a hoot about the world, suddenly finds a purpose when his protégé, Pete (Harrison Gilbertson), dies in a race. Tobey does time behind bars while the mastermind and perpetrator, Dino (Dominic Cooper), escapes any inquiry. Years later, Tobey emerges from jail with only one goal on his mind, to avenge Pete. To do so, he has to traverse the distance from New York to San Francisco in 48 hours with a very attractive British racer, Julia (Imogen Poots) in tow. For some reason a price on his head places him directly under the attack from various people trying to drive his vehicle off track. Then, upon reaching his destination, he must enter The DeLeon, a high stakes underground race, and go head-to-head against his rival.
Most of the races thankfully involve actual stunts rather than a reliance on CGI but it does little to blunt the effect of been there, seen that. The cars look pretty and so do the drivers just like the F&F franchise but not everything quite matches up to the coolness factor of the latter. It almost seems like Need for Speed tries too hard, be it Dominic Cooper’s overtly smooth and silky bad guy or Paul’s nostril flaring vengeance seeker, even the locations to the cars it employs don’t ring true to the kind of story’s tone it wants to set.
I would like to look at the movie as silly fun and it can be in places, but largely it fails and falls flat on it’s face because it simply tries to hard to be fast and furious, which despite not being much itself is still a few notches above this pile of junk. Plus the whole movie comes off as an advertisement for the Ford Mustang.view less