I've always loved driving, and I always tell people that while I enjoy gaming, the only form of gaming I think I stand any chance in is the racing genre. And to most console racers, the Need for Speed series of games represent an important part of gaming history. Thanks to Walt Disney Studios and Bates&CHI I had the privilege of catching the media preview of the movie based on the game franchise.
As Justin rightly pointed out, it mustn't be easy to create a story out of a game franchise that hardly ever has a proper story to any of its titles. Not that that's a problem for the games, since just about everyone who'd buy it just want to hit the gas pedal and preferably knock some cars off the road. But given the franchise's 20 year history, there has to still be quite alot to live up to.
Without spoiling the plot for you, what struck me about the movie was that it quite nicely embodied the theme that its games were centred around - the concept of a perhaps not-always-apparent, but nevertheless deep-seated rivalry, whether between cops or between racers. The cops in the movie did get in the way of the illegal races, but they are pretty normal cars that "top out at 130", as mentioned by one of the film's characters. That's pretty crap considering that they were up against 6 supercars, from Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Spano, Saleen, Bugatti and McLaren. The chief rivalry that drove (hurhur) the plot was one between two racers, and if you watch the movie, you will see that there's a pretty solid reason for it.
The movie was great in building up the adrenalin of races, beginning with a race amongst muscle cars and ending with a flat-out supercar showdown. With quite a number of surprises thrown in, it was an enjoyable 2 hours relishing the sights and sounds of the best of automotive technology today, capturing with some exhilarating camera work.
Need for Speed opens March 13th in Singapore's theatres.