Need for Speed

Though based on a series of video games, this big-budget racing picture feels closer in spirit to 1950s comic books and Walter Hill’s early directorial efforts; the action is clearly delineated, the neon colors bright as can be, the characters deliberately archetypal. Unfortunately there’s not much of a sensibility beneath the pleasant surfaces; the movie is easy to enjoy, but just as easy to forget. A sensitive and expressive performer, Aaron Paul (of the AMC series Breaking Bad) is an awkward fit for the Clint Eastwood-like hero, a stoic amateur racer out to avenge the malicious pro driver who framed him for manslaughter. Rami Malek (The Master), Ramon Rodriguez (The Wire), and Scott Mescudi (better known as rapper Kid Cudi) appear more comfortable onscreen as Paul’s crew of merry gearheads, and Michael Keaton is fun in a bit part. Longtime stuntman Scott Waugh directed.