Elwood Cinema’s Movie Maniac Review: Need for Speed.

helicoptor need for speed

Our resident Movie Maniac Joe Mazzola has another great review for all our loyal Elwood Cinemas customers! Please check it out!

“I can feel love, vengeance, and motor oil all swirling together.”

                After a two year stint in prison for being unjustly convicted of manslaughter, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) sets out on a cross country race against time to compete in the De Leon competition along the Pacific Highway, organized by the “Monarch,” to settle a personal vendetta.

Need For Speed had the odds stacked against it. Film adaptations of popular video game series are often met with mixed to negative results. EA might have taken a chance with bringing an iconic racing series to the big screen while the Fast and the Furious movies continue to dominate at the box office, but, as they say, “high risks, high rewards.” Together, Director Scott Waugh and Writer George Gatins craft an electrifying and stylish cinematic adventure.

Fresh off his success from AMC’s notorious television drama Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul guns it from the credits and takes over as the wheelman in this over-the-top racing adventure. The story begins on humble terms. Tobey Marshall is a talented mechanic and even more gifted street racer making a living with his crew, featuring the likes of Scott Mescudi, otherwise known as the artist “Kid Cudi,” in Mt. Kisco, New York. When an ambitious but antagonistic business associate, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) ignites a quest of revenge for Toby, he must clear his name by making it to San Francisco, with the companionship of his crew, and the lovely Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots), to compete against him and settle the score in a winner-takes-all, high risk race.

Like any epic revolving around racing, the showcase of cars is front and center. First and foremost, we have the Shelby Mustang that Dino delivers to Tobey’s garage, an unfinished masterpiece of the late Carroll Shelby. Early on the feature kicks off with loads of American muscle tearing through an evening in upstate New York. In addition, we get to witness three Koenigsegg Ageras swerve through heavy traffic in an ambitious contest. All the while, the stakes are raised as the racers must evade law enforcement in a manner that stays true to the intensity of the gaming series.

Another highlight fans may appreciate is the soundtrack. Along with debuting in the film, Scott Mescudi also performs Need For Speed’s original track with Skylar Grey, “Hero.” Covers of timeless hits such as “All Along the Watchtower” and “Fortunate Son” get a modern update throughout Need For Speed to match the slick nature of EA’s breadwinner. Linkin Park are also featured with their powerful and cathartic ballad, “Roads Untraveled.”

The journey proves to be a relentless adrenaline shot coupled with comedy. For two hours, I found myself extremely entertained by the breath-taking set pieces. While it may be a tad predictable, Need for Speed is never less than an enjoyable thrill-ride. Audiences will be sure to leave the theater with a sense of satisfaction and having received their moneys-worth.

4/4 Stars

About the Author:  Our resident Movie Maniac Joe Mazzola has another great review for all our loyal Elwood Cinemas customers! Please check it out!Joe is an avid yet amateur film critic. Having been with the company for several years, he spent his college career away each semester at the University at Albany, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree. His passion for the film industry and the perpetually growing movie culture led him to gravitate back home during the time off and continually work for the independent and communally driven Elwood Cinemas, a staple of his hometown. Approaching each film with an unbiased perspective, most of Joe’s analysis is derived in accordance with what the movie strives to achieve.

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