Grade B-

Almost as implausible as “The Fast And The Furious” movies, but not as engaging nor entertaining.

When a gifted street racer/mechanic (played by Aaron Paul) is visited by a former rival (played by Dominic Cooper) to be offered the opportunity to finish the build of a famous car in exchange for 1/4 of its final selling price, Paul and his crew of gearheads reluctantly agree.  The car, a Shelby Mustang, is finished, sold for higher than expected, the old rivalry between Paul and Cooper flare up, and a race ensues to settle their beef.  The race ends very badly, with Paul ending up in prison and Cooper using his connections and money to escape punishment.

Fast forward two years later: Paul is out on parole, looking for payback.  His means to do so: an illegal, high-stakes race through the highways of California.  Winner take all: prize money, other racers’ cars, bragging rights.  Plus, if Cooper loses the race, he’ll be financially ruined; and what better way to get back at a rich jerk than taking his money from him?

Paul has less than two days to get to the race, and he uses the Mustang that he and his crew built to travel 3,000 miles to get there.  It won’t be a smooth ride, as he’ll be speeding (cops will be on his tail and word will be given out to cops across state lines to get Paul), he’ll be violating his parole, and Cooper has offered his Lamborghini as a reward to anyone who can keep Paul from getting to the race.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Need For Speed” is the scene when the Shelby Mustang Paul helped to build is revealed.  First we see holograms of Mustang horses running, then they turn into a blueprint for the car, and then the real car appears.  Beauty, power, and art all rolled into a fierce sounding machine.

If you’re into fast cars and driving fast, this movie will appeal to you.  Although the story is simple and full of shenanigans (for example, the Benny character’s ability to borrow various helicopters and the flimsy explanations for it), Paul’s likeable character and director Scott Waugh’s skills make for an entertaining movie that is geared for the “Fast And The Furious” crowd.

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