I was able to see Need for Speed this past weekend at the Stardust Drive-In in Watertown, TN, and it delivered more than I had expected. Director Scott Waugh’s experiment with this movie based on Electronic Arts‘ racing video game, turned out quite alright. This film stars Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul, and more. The story is a refreshing one, but still makes me beg for more out of it. Aaron Paul plays Toby Marshall, a released prisoner who works at an auto body shop with his clique of dudes. Toby turns out framed by a business associate who buys the most lavish fast cars. After a close loss, Toby is infuriated with adrenaline, and seeks to compete at a street race in the most top notch car his shop has ever constructed, in a cross-country journey to a race. The DeLeon race, a high-stakes street racing competition that Toby looks to find redemption through.
As the movie began, at this point I was munching on a philly cheese sandwich from the concession stands, and was very anxious to see how this movie will unravel. The story was semi-original, but the action that was sewn into it all kind of won some kudos back. It wasn’t so much racing action and in-your-face car shots as it was emotion and story-driven, and that was something you could appreciate. Speaking of emotion, actor Aaron Paul is no stranger to showing onscreen sincerity. As a die hard Breaking Bad fan, seeing his debut as a leading role on the big screen was both bittersweet and unusual.
What I got out of this movie was the feeling that Aaron Paul’s acting ability is meant for so much more. Sure, he can pull off these underdog roles and he may even look the part for them, but I think his true skills should be shining through more risk taking roles. I think it’s safe to say that we’d all get a kick out of another ‘Jesse Pinkman’ type of performance. Overall, I liked the style the film was shot, and I even think it’s worth a watch if you like those fast-paced car movies. It kept me interested in what the protagonist will strive for next, and with a confident character like Toby Marshall, the film was able to wrap somewhat of a promising completion.