Need for Speed: It’s a long Road to Redemption

Based on the popular video game, Need for Speed follows a fresh out of prison streetracer seeking vengeance for being wrongfully convicted of murder. Much like the The Fast and the Furious, Need for Speed is a stunt-packed joyride featuring fast cars, feisty women and friendship that runs deeper than blood. But don’t be fooled: what may sound like just another shallow action flic, is actually a really entertaining, emotionally gripping movie…

Need for Speed (2014): Directed by Scott Waugh; running-time 2h 12mins.; starring Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, A long way down), Imogen Poots (That Awkward Moment), Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia!, The Duchess), Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, Night at the Museum), Scott Mescudi (Two Night Stand), Ramon Rodriguez.

I’m gonna be honest: I did not think Need for Speed was going to be a good movie. I never even liked the video game, so I was not compelled to even give it another thought. However, I liked Aaron Paul and Imogen Poot’s chemistry so much in A Long Way Down that I had to see this one as soon as I found out they were both starring in it. And to my great surprise, Need for Speed turned out to be a really entertaining yet emotionally gripping movie that I will gladly watch again and again over the years to come.

What’s it about? After he is framed by an ex-business associate (Cooper) for a murder he did not commit, a financially struggling custom-car builder and street-racer (Paul) is determined to avenge his friend’s death.

What’s it really about? Redemption.

Pick if:

  • You’re looking for a full-throttle film to watch on a date: Need for Speed is an action-packed joyride that both men and women will enjoy
  • You like films about racing such as The Fast and the Furious, Rush, or Days of Thunder
  • You prefer action films with emotional gravityNeed for Speed balances action and story in a way that makes you become invested in the characters because their motivations are credible and relatable
  • You don’t mind a little roadtrip romance: somehow, among everything that is going on in this film, director Scott Waugh also manages to fit an understated romantic arc in there that doesn’t feel forced or gratuitous. Like I said, Imogen and Aaron have amazing chemistry
  • And speaking of Imogen’s character: if you like feisty women, you’re gonna love Julia. She is a strong and feisty girl who can hold her own in a predominantly male profession. She reminds me of  Ellie in That Awkward Moment a lot actually
  • You’re intrigued by frenemy relationships: Tobey and Dino’s relationship is complicated even before the accident that lands Tobey in jail. But much like the rivalry between Nikki Lauda and James Hunt in Rush, or Brian and Dom’s strained bond in Fast & Furious 4, their antagonistic dynamic is really compelling to watch
  • Moreover, the film places the focus on Tobey’s friendship with his crew. These guys are like brothers to him and would do anything for him
  • And as if that wasn’t enough, the film is also beautifully shot and has a great soundtrack (featuring music by Linkin Park among others)

Most memorable quote: “In our world, you always go back. He just left him there. That’s what I can’t forgive.” – Tobey

Most memorable scene: Tobey and his mates decide to refuel the car without stopping.

Magic Music Moment: ****************SPOILER*******************************

When Toby crosses the finish line of the DeLeon race, he is arrested for illegal streetracing. As he lies face down on the ground, being handcuffed by the cops, he recognises the lighthouse that Pete saw in his dream. Realising that his redemption is complete and his friend’s death has been avenged, he sheds a tear as the cops lead him away to Linkin Park’s “Roads Untraveled”.

Where can I watch? Need for Speed is available for streaming on Amazon, Maxdome, iTunes, Google Play as well as Netflix Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Canada.

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