Need for Speed


Need for Speed

Adam Zacharias delves into Need for Speed.

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Published: Thu 20 Mar 2014, 5:58 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:29 PM

EXACTLY 20 YEARS after the Need for Speed racing video game franchise launched comes the inevitable big screen adaptation, starring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul in the driving seat.

Paul plays street racer Tobey Marshall, who is sent to prison after being framed for the manslaughter of a competitor. Upon his release, Tobey sets off on a road trip looking for revenge.

With its emphasis on fast, flashy cars and over-the-top action set pieces, Need for Speed has inevitably drawn comparisons with the ultra-successful Fast & Furious franchise. But with a by-the-numbers plotline and a budget totalling almost $100 million less than last year’s Fast & Furious 6, Need for Speed has bored critics.

Audiences seem less discerning though, with the film already having recouped its $66 million spend and early audience scores in the 7 out of 10 range on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.

“Need for Speed is just another pileup in Hollywood’s long accident report of taking games from the couch to the theatre seat,” said Keith Staskiewicz of Entertainment Weekly.

“If you like watching people drive really nice cars really fast, Need for Speed scratches that particular itch. But expect nothing more, because everything else about it is just running on empty,” said Bill Goodykuntz of The Arizona Republic.

Need for Speed currently has a 24% rating on and a 7.3/10 rating on


  • Need for Speed was produced by Dreamworks, with company co-founder Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. It was Spielberg who decided that Aaron Paul should play the film’s hero, with British actor Dominic Cooper cast in the villain role instead.

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