I participated in a Disney Press Event  which included a screening of DreamWorks’ “Need for Speed” (in theaters 3/14/14) – Disney provided transportation and accommodations; all opinions are my own. Read more about this event here and by following the hashtag #piratefairybloggers on Twitter.

Need for Speed - Aaron Paul I got a chance to see the new film, “Need for Speed,” a few weeks ago during a Disney Press Trip.  This new film by DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment is a down and dirty street racing movie with a fantasy edge. It’s filled with language, scantily clad girls, and intense street racing scenes. Of course they’re done well and seem very realistic, well most of them.

What I like about the movie was the relationship between Aaron Paul (two-time Emmy® winner – “Breaking Bad”) and his garage mates, though Paul doesn’t stray far from his Jesse Pinkman persona. He plays a street racer who’s been accused of a crime he didn’t commit and he plans revenge against the fellow who framed him when he’s released after his 2-year prison term.

Need for Speed - Scenic locations

The story is good and the characters engaging. The tale takes him across country where he encounters some roadblocks on his way to California, so there’s plenty of road and weather conditions to challenge him, as well as wonderful scenery and a chance at romance. But along the way he also has to fight off thugs who are trying to stop him.

Need for Speed – Video Game Tie-in

Had I known this film was based on a game before I watched it I might have enjoyed it more. Now that I know, it explains the there’s-no-way-that-could-happen scenes that left me shaking my head. It’s based on the wildly popular 1994 EA Entertainment game of the same need that’s a best seller worldwide. It’s definitely a film that asks you to suspend reality and just sit back and enjoy the scenery, fast driving, hot cars, and great acting.  Oh, and there’s nudity, but it’s done with great humor.

Need for Speed - Car Crash

There are plenty of fast cars and killer crashes in this film.

Need for Speed – Target Audience

I want to note that I’m not the target audience for “Need for Speed”. This film it targeted to young males and those who play, or at least know about, the video game. Because I don’t fall into either of those groups, I watched it from the perspective of a mom of two young adult males and I spent most of the movie thinking to myself that I hope no young, impressionable child, foolishly tries to recreate any of the stunts in the movie.

Need for Speed – Behind the Stunts

I know many movies have racing scenes, but this one crosses over from a video game into reality, and that makes me a little more nervous. What kids won’t realize is that they won’t be able to recreate the stunts because there’s more to them than it looks, and in fact many are impossible.

For one of the iconic stunts in the movie, they installed a switch on the undercarriage of the car that fired a canon which flipped the car. In another, a car flys through the air, lands, and drives away. The director, Scott Waugh noted, “I didn’t want to launch the car 80 feet in the air and have it travel the length of a football field because it just wasn’t plausible. In reality the car would be damaged and unable to land and drive away, as called for in the script.” So to make it happen, they built a ramp which sent the stunt driver flying 160 feet through the air where he landed safely.

Need for Speed - Car Stunt

This stunt was accomplished by building a launch ramp on this busy highway to launch the driver into the air.

Need for Speed – Film Rating

The film is rated PG-13, but honestly I wouldn’t allow my children to see it if they were under 17. There’s a lot of language, nudity, car crashes, deaths, and lots of illegal activity.

Have you seen “Need for Speed?” Am I crazy in being worried about copycat kids? Or are the filmmakers on target when they say their goal is to bring the audience into the world of street racing that they could never be a part of.

Need for Speed Cast & Crew

Need for Speed - Cast Photo

Need for Speed – Cast

The film stars Aaron Paul (two-time Emmy® winner for “Breaking Bad”), Dominic Cooper (“Captain America: The First Avenger”), Imogen Poots (“Fright Night”), Ramon Rodriguez (“Transformers”), Rami Malek (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Scott Mescudi, Dakota Johnson (“21 Jump Street”), Harrison Gilbertson and Michael Keaton (“Batman”).

Need for Speed” is presented by DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment, produced by Patrick O’Brien, John Gatins (Oscar® nominee for “Flight”) and Mark Sourian (“Delivery Man”) and directed by Scott Waugh (“Act of Valor”). The screenplay is by George Gatins (“She’s Out of My League”). The story is by George Gatins & John Gatins, based on the video-game series created by Electronic Arts. Executive producers are Stuart Besser (“3:10 to Yuma”), Scott Waugh, Max Leitman (“Act of Valor”), Frank Gibeau, Patrick Soderlund and Tim Moore (“Gran Torino”) with Shane Hurlbut (“Act of Valor”) serving as director of photography, Jon Hutman (“Rock of Ages”) as production designer, Ellen Mirojnick (“Cloverfield”) as costume designer, and Paul Rubell (Oscar® nominee for “Collateral” and “The Insider”) and Scott Waugh as editors.

Check out the official Need for Speed website and find out more about this new action movie.