Speedsters

There's a scene in Need For Speed, Hollywood's latest auto epic, where stars Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots are sitting in a car that's hanging from a helicopter. (Yes, it's that kind of movie).

Terrified, they end up having a nonsensical argument over whose eyes are bluer.

"My eyes are bluer!"

"No, MINE are bluer!"

There's no need to fight, kids! Both of you have very blue eyes. More importantly, you're both becoming big-time.

Opening here tomorrow, Need For Speed is an adaptation of the popular video game series. Paul, 34, plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic who vows revenge against the baddie (Dominic Cooper) who killed his best friend during a race.

He plans to settle things on the track, but first he needs a hot car, which is where Poots, 24, comes in.

She plays Julia Maddon, a car nut whose boss lends Tobey a souped-up Mustang.

As Tobey and Julia drive across the US on their way to the big race, sparks fly.

"There's tension the whole time between the two of them," Poots told movie website Screen Rant. "That's the real idea, to give it a story and a footing inside of all the action.

"It's a movie about race cars. You want people to have fun and be entertained, so we're trying to find as many different arcs and levels within that as we can."

If there's anyone who can bring "arcs and levels" to a car movie, it's Poots.

 

WHO ARE THEY

She's as far from your typical action movie heroine as you can imagine.

She's fancy. The English actress grew up in London and went to posh schools.

She got her start in movies with a small role in V For Vendetta, then went on to appear in a variety of projects - from literary adaptation Jane Eyre and horror flick Fright Night to rom-com That Awkward Moment.

If she were a car, she'd be a sporty yet sophisticated little MG.

As for Paul, he'd be pure American muscle, something powerful and maybe a little ridiculous like a Camero.

The son of a Christian minister, he grew up in Idaho and after graduating from high school, drove to Los Angeles where he landed bit roles on numerous TV shows.

He spent a decade in the Hollywood wilderness before finally landing the role of Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad in 2008.

"With Breaking Bad I was telling such a heavy story over the past six years, and I wanted to do something that was just kind of fun," he told movie website JoBlo.

 

MORE OF THEM

Coincidentally, Paul and Poots each have four movies coming out in 2014.

The highlight for Paul would have to be playing Joshua in Ridley Scott's Moses epic Exodus, with Christian Bale in the lead.

As for Poots, she, appears in the legendary Terrence Malick's drama Knight Of Cups, which also stars Bale.

How do you know you've made it in the movie business? When Christian Bale is your colleague.

As lofty as these projects may sound, it is Need For Speed that still has the greatest potential to be a massive hit - and a franchise.

If that's the case, Paul and Poots could be spending a lot of time together.

But that's okay.

Though they come from entirely different backgrounds, they generate a surprising amount of chemistry on and off-screen.

Frankly, they both seem a little goofy, which is nice.

Need For Speed is actually their second movie together, having both worked on indie Brit flick A Long Way Down before hooking up for this project.

In fact, Paul was the main reason Poots signed on to Need For Speed.

"Aaron Paul was the big draw," she said, "because we'd just done a movie together in London.

"He was in talks to star in this film, and he reached out and asked me if it was something I'd consider. He was the element that made me very intrigued about it."

Added Paul: "She is so brilliant and says the most random things that alternate between hilarious and insightful.

"If you ever get a chance to jump in a car with Imogen Poots, take it."

 

THE MATCH UP

You know what Need For Speed wants? It wants some of that Fast And Furious money, yo! The question is, can it possibly compare? Time for a drag race - with words!

STAR POWERS
Fast And Furious
No one can ever replace the late Paul Walker who has become a sort of car martyr. Vin Diesel is a true A-lister. The supporting cast - Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez - are also aces.

Need For Speed
These guys aren't quite there YET. Aaron Paul is known from Breaking Bad, but he's not a household name. Imogen Poots is only now on the rise. Dakota Johnson is slightly known thanks to Fifty Shades Of Grey.

FIRST HEAT WINNER: FAST AND FURIOUS

CAR POWERS
Fast And Furious
From Walker's "rice rockets" (Skylines and Celicas) to Diesel's muscle cars (Chargers and Challengers), they do an incredible job of giving the cars their own personas. There's a lot of variety and beauty.

Need For Speed
At times, the flick feels like a big advertisement for Mustang GT, which features VERY prominently. There are also supercars such as the Koenigsegg Agera. Stunning but not much personality.

SECOND HEAT WINNER: FAST AND FURIOUS

STORY POWERS
Fast And Furious
These flicks have been so successful because they're like soap operas for dudes. So much drama! The main cast have been through so much together after six installments - and counting! - that we feel like we know them.

Need For Speed
Based on a series of video games, this isn't what you'd call a story-driven flick. It's your basic revenge plot with a bit of humour and romance thrown in. The very definition of thin gruel.

THIRD HEAT WINNER: FAST AND FURIOUS

THE WINNER: FAST AND FURIOUS
It’s not even close. Fast And Furious has lapped Need For Speed 10 times.

 


Get The New Paper for more stories.

SERVICES