“Those who wage war against me, shall perish.”
In this heyday of adaptation in cinemas, only films adapting video games that usually end up unsuccessful. Let’s try to recall how Resident Evil or Tomb Raider fails—as if they forget that the games also have storylines; or how Dead or Alive, Tekken, and (never forgive) Street Fighter fails—as they cannot accommodate all favorite characters into one screen. The problem is the same; all games has characters and storylines, but most films don’t “respect” those things and alienates those important stuffs instead.
DreamWorks takes a risky decision—adapting video games with no storyline but to race with most expensive cars and win other cars—in Need For Speed. However, this take-it-or-leave-it opportunity has all advantages it needs to take over this summer from other contenders. First, NFS takes over the slot left by Fast and Furious 7 full throttle. Second, NFS is a multi-platform and has million numbers of loyal fans all along the world. Third, NFS doesn’t have storyline as complicated as other game adaptation—making it possible to add layers to the plot without bothering the franchise’s fans. Four, NFS has all the fastest, the most expensive and most luxurious sport cars (that cannot turn into droid) to hit the gas this summer.
With all those advantages, director Scott Waugh arranges his version of Need For Speed with style; not only it’s fast and furious, but it’s fearless—taking all risks in filming and box office. Then, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a mechanic and a street racer out of nowhere is introduced to screen. Crisis hits when his former rival, Dino (Dominic Cooper) comes to offer helps and, more than that, adrenaline rush in street races. The race gone wrong and Tobey is framed for crime he doesn’t commit; and we know it eventually, the road has the answers.
The plot goes as simple as that—and away from the finish line, you’ve already known how it ends. But, this isn’t an adaptation of complicated RPG game after all; in NFS, all we need to do is hit the gas (and the brake) and cross the finish line—so don’t expect complicated turns and twists here and there. Consequently, the acting looks dull albeit NFS has all talented casts, including Aaron Paul that, honestly, has outdone himself.
At least, NFS exhibits real cross country race—adapting what we have in the game with all the spirit and its entirety—that might bedazzle common audiences. If you’re a fan of the game, you’ll see how faithful NFS to the game is—something which always troubles video-game-adapted films. The blurry scenes with amazing landscapes, or beautiful city lights at night, or the city streets with the crowds, is transferred convincingly to the large screen. Filming those exhilarating race scenes with no CGI is obviously a big plus to this film.
Let’s just hope there will be no sequels to NFS and, most obviously, no adaptation of Pro Evolution Soccer (which has no storyline as well).
Need For Speed (2014)
Action, Adaptation, Crime Running Time: 132 mins Directed by: Scott Waugh Written by: John Gatins & George Gatins Starred by: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Michael Keaton