Need for Speed

Rated 3.0

Fast cars, the flashier and louder the better, have been a prime ingredient in movie excitement for more than a century now. Need for Speed, based on the Electronic Arts video game series, has little else to offer, but the visceral rush of its car chases and road-racer sequences is more than enough to keep it crackling with energy through most of its 130-minute running time. George Gatins’ jejune script sets up a might-be-deadly rivalry between star racers played by Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper and adds a front-seat, road-trip romance between Paul’s character and a comely British car buyer (Imogen Poots). None of it is credible enough to merit close attention, which is no doubt one more reason why director Scott Waugh keeps the automotive action hurtling along at a pell-mell pace. Plus, the production designers have managed to keep the effects of CGI artifice at a minimum, which results in a real-time intensity that would have made this film a joy to see in a vintage drive-in theater like the one referenced at the outset here. Cinemark 14 and Feather River Cinemas. Rated PG-13.