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Need for Speed (DQ)


Stars: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton, Ramon Rodriguez, Dakota Johnson, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Harrison Gilbertson

Director: Scott Waugh

Fans of the 'Fast & Furious' series are gonna flock to this. OK, the plot is frankly ridiculous, the hackneyed dialogue good for a laugh and the acting rudimentary to say the least. But this is a film that depends on its speedcar action. And, boy, does it deliver.

Ace mechanic Tobey (Paul) and obviously villainous entrepreneur Dino (Cooper) have history involving Tobey's ex-flame. But Tobey's business is pressed for cash, so when Dino offers him half a million to reboot a Mustang car he plans to sell for a cool 3 million, Toby takes him up on it.

Even the English buyer's speed-mad daughter (Imogen Poots) is impressed with the 230mph results (although she knocks Dino down to 2.7million) but Dino then offers Tobey a race for one man's share against the other's, and Tobey foolishly accepts.

When his boyish younger brother Pete (Gilbertson) joins in, few will fail to forecast the result. Seeing that Tobey has the race in the bag, Dino backs into Pete, sending him off the road to his death, with Tobey abandoning the race to help.

Dino subsequently disappears, and it's Tobey who does the time for causing death by dangerous driving. Come his release from prison, and both protagonists enter the Deleon, an illegal highway race masterminded by demented DJ Keaton, who seems to be privy to the film's entire plot.

"This ain't about racing,' he exclaims towards the end. But of course it is, as supercharged silver racers charge towards glory or destruction.

Paul is pretty wooden in the lead, while English actress Poots is perfectly dreadful as the heroine - interestingly the scene in which she affects an American accent to elude police pursuit is her only convincing one - although she does prove herself to be a super-brave stunt girl in the film's best sequence: a re-fuelling session at 100 miles an hour on the highway.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Technicolor.
126 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 11 Mar 2014