Movies based on videogames are always dicey propositions. When the bafflingly popular "Resident Evil" franchise, a series of movies that can charitably be described "uneven," is the high water mark in terms of the videogame-to-movie transition, you know things aren't great. But that doesn't mean that talented filmmakers will give up on trying to bring their favorite button-mashers to the big screen. The latest evidence of this is "Need for Speed," based on the Electronic Arts racing franchise of the same name.
While the first trailer from the film, released earlier this fall, looked like a kind of herky-jerky remake of both "Drive" and one of the lesser "Fast and Furious" installments, this new trailer gives you a better look at the plot of the movie and, more importantly, the out-of-control stunts that will undoubtedly make any gear head lose their mind.
In the film, Aaron Paul, from "Breaking Bad," plays Tobey Marshall, a street racer who is unfairly imprisoned for a crime that he didn't commit (one that results in the death of his best friend). Upon release from prison, he decides to get revenge on the man who wronged him, which of course involves driving really sexy cars at really dangerous speeds.
The movie looks deliriously entertaining, slightly more earthy and, oddly, more spiritual than the "Fast and the Furious" franchise (sample dialogue: "Racing is an art but racing with passion is high art"), evoking the feel of seventies road movies like "Vanishing Point" and "Race with the Devil" fairly effectively. It also doesn't hurt that the cast is so incredible: Dominic Cooper is the bad guy, Kid Cudi and Rami Malek are his buddies, Imogen Poots is the love interest (rocking a wonderfully white trash wig), and Michael Keaton plays some kind of ring leader of an underground racing circuit. Quite frankly -- what is there not to love?
"Need for Speed" crashes into theaters on March 14, 2014.