"Need For Speed"
Music By Nathan Furst
20 Tracks/Disc Time: 70:54
Movies based on video game adaptations haven't always been successful and this goes back twenty years starting with the now dreaded "Super Mario Bros.", that has lead to other video game based films such as "Street Fighter", "Double Dragon", "Mortal Kombat", and most recently doom, "Doom". Out of these, "Mortal Kombat" still stands as the most successful film video game adaptation do date. Dreamworks' "Need For Speed" is based on the hit video game by Electronic Arts that stars "Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul as Tobey Marshall, a street racer who was framed and sent to jail by a wealthy business associate, a pro NASCAR driver and bad boy, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) joins a cross country race, the De Leon Race revenge in mind. However, when his ex-partner gets wind of this, he instantly places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins and eliminate Tobey once and for all. Desperate to use the last car that he and his team worked on, a 50th Anniversary Ford Mustang that Carroll Shelby reportedly worked on before his eventual death in 2012, a car that produces 800+ horsepower and reaches a max speed of 234mph,Tobey and his team, accompanied by the wealthy investor associate, Julia (Imogen Poots, "Fright Night") race to an unknown location in search of proving Marshall's innocence and making Brewster pay for the death of his friend. The film also co-stars Michael Keaton and has done very well at the box office to date.
With a film such as this that mixes both hard edged action scenes and drama in between, a composer was needed to fit the bill that not only would fulfill the excellent dynamics of the film that include amazing stuntwork, but the acting as well. Calling on his old friend, Director Scott Waugh knew exactly what he was getting when he chose the very talented Nathan Furst (son of "National Lampoon's Animal House's" Stephen Furst) as the musical wheelman as the film's composer. Nathan, who I had the pleasure of interviewing made a great musical sensation with his hard edged and exciting score to the documentary, "Dust To Glory" in which Waugh worked on, has written a score that is not only sensational, but one of the more enjoyable efforts of the year to date. The music is everything you would want in an action score: solid themes, great thrilling material and solid drama mixed in that gives the edge to this score that is really charges hard to the finish.
From the dramatic start in "Marshall Motors", Furst establishes a melodic mood that is filled great guitar work and nice string work leading the score to really kick it into high gear with killer exciting tracks such as "Mt.Kisco", "Koenigsegg Race", "Flight Seater", "Motor City Mayhem", "Hot Fuel", "Utah Escape", "DeLeone Begins" and "Lethal Force" which are really high octane action-filled tracks that also maintain a very dramatic balance that distinguishes it far more than most scores of this type today. Full use of the orchestra here makes a huge difference giving these tracks the great edge to make them very memorable. "Pete's Death" is a solid example of Furst's dramatic writing with a nice guitar solo that is complimented perfectly by a lovely female vocal that makes a wonderful return later on in the track "California Crossing" as well as the track "You Always Go Back" that also has dynamic writing. "In The Lead" is the perfect ending to this score with a propulsive and solid push to the finish with brass and driving string work that just leads to a great dramatic finish as the gears shift one last time for a memorable thematic ending that all scores now adays really do lack. It's just so good.
Varese Sarabande's album features a healthy amount of the score that Nathan wrote and it is a very energetic and exciting listen that really works on all cylanders. It works because of the musical flow that Furst has assembled as well as keeping the musical narrative of the film still in tact. Give kudos to Varese producer Robert Townson for picking up this score for the label because it's really a solid effort and it really would've been a shame to just let this one go into the oblivion of unreleased scores. What else could you possibly ask for? This surely the score that will hopefully garner Nathan Furst alot of work in the future because after proving that he had the musical chops in "Dust To Glory", he really sets the bar even higher with this fun, kick ass score! Highly recommended. Thumbs way up!