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Inspired by Electronic Arts' popular car race video game series, Need For Speed stars Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul as an illegal street racer who might be the best in the U.S. But when he's thrown in prison for a crime he didn't commit, his dreams of racing fame are put on hold. After serving his time, he speeds across the country to join the race of his dreams, where he could earn both redemption and revenge.
Our theatrical review will weigh in on whether or not this new release is worth your time, while this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going, complete with a viewers poll where you can weigh in on how you plan to see Need For Speed.
Planning & Effort Score
Need For Speed producers announced the film's post-conversion to 3D a little over month before its opening weekend. Which seems a bad sign, right? But I'll tell you this: I was astonished to learn the 3D was created in post because it's spectacular. Though it wasn't shot in stereo, none of the work seems ill planned or without incredible effort. I'm pretty sure this is the only time I've given post-converted 3D a 5 out of 5 here.
Before the Window Score
Beyond the Window Score
Director Scott Waugh was dedicated to favoring practical stunts over CGI, and it gives Need for Speed a sickening sense of realness, which is only enhanced by the 3D. As Aaron Paul ricochets from one set piece to the next, we're offered views of desolate deserts, bustling cities, and scenic seaside routes. Each one gets a pronounced depth that is striking. But where this element of 3D really stands out is in one action sequence in particular. I won't go into spoilers, but let me say this: If you are even remotely afraid of heights, you will probably freak out here. The 3D was so believable that even though my mind insisted, "it's just a movie!" I had to turn away…and maybe screech a little.
Glasses Off Score
Audience Health Score
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: It should be pretty obvious. Need for Speed has incredible 3D. It's so good in fact, that I assumed watching it that it must have been shot in stereo. But nope, Waugh and his team just did an amazing job with the conversion. Really, this should be a movie other productions considering post-conversion look to as a shining example. It even made me reconsider my stance of instantly grousing every time such a postproduction plan is announced.
How will you see Need For Speed?
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