Whether you play video games or not, you would have heard of Need for Speed.
Since its release in 1994, Need for Speed (NFS) has become one of the most successful racing video game series in the world and quite possibly one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. Electronic Arts, the video games developer giant who own the rights to the video game has now translated Need For Speed from game console into a feature-length movie with the expertise of Dreamworks Studios.
Frankly, although I admire the design of new and vintage fast cars, I’m not much of an aficionado, of the car races or even the racing video games. I walked into the preview without high expectations and even expected myself to walk out of the screening if it was going to be another 2 Fast 2 Furious copy.
The plot of NFS isn’t particularly earth shattering. I mean a street car race movie can’t be too imaginative. It’s obviously going to be about a baddie who somehow cheats the underdog good guy over a girl, a race or a raw deal, and the only way to settle the score is with yet another over-the-top race.
Well, NFS doesn’t stray to far from this plot albeit some minor adjustments so you get a little kick out of watching it. However, the real target audiences won’t really care to much about the plot. They want to watch muscle cars and super charged European sports cars, hear the roar of the engines, get wowed by the car stunts and maybe watch some good looking actors and maybe pretty race car queens. If car names like 2013 Shelby GT 500,’69 Gran Torino, ’66 Pontiac GTO, 68 Chevy Camaro GTA Spano, Koenigseggs Agera R, McLaren P1, Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, Saleen S-7, and Bugatti Veyron rock your mojo, then you are probably the target audience.
In NFS, you’ll get to see really nice replicas of super cars get totally annihilated. What the film makers did right was to film more real action footage, and use less computer-generated imagery. The car chases were shot spectacularly with cameras vibrating together with the growl of the engines, the drifting stunts, and uneven grounds. Several stunt scenes had me going ‘Oh Sh*t!’. Needless to say, I was rather impressed by NFS for the action and the decent acting by the lead actors, Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and Imogen Poots. Kid Cudi, although in a smaller role as a pilot scout for the racers, provided timely comic relief and wasn’t too bad an actor.
NFS is indeed different from 2 Fast 2 Furious. While the latter has loud, top-40 music pumping with the car chase scenes, good looking muscle men and sexy gals for eye candy, overly glossed sports cars and loads of computer aided imagery, NFS is a throwback to the older car race movies, utilizing more camera technique. So is Need For Speed worth your time? Its decent popcorn entertainment. There’s fast car action for the guys (and some girls), a bit of humor and several memorable stunt sequences for rest.
Need For Speed has been racing in Malaysian cinemas since 13 March 2014