Sunday, September 25, 2022

REVIEW: Speed (live action movie)

Speed is a 1994 action thriller movie. I bought my copy new.


Jack Traven and Harry Temple are LAPD SWAT officers who start this movie off by outsmarting a mysterious bomber and saving an elevator full of people. The incident leaves Harry with a wounded leg, and everyone thinks that the bomber died. However, a short while later, Jack witnesses a mass transit bus explode and receives a call from the same bomber who targeted the elevator. The bomber tells him that a similar bomb has been rigged on another bus. Once the bus reaches 50 mph, the bomb will be armed and will go off when the bus slows down to under 50 mph. None of the passengers can leave, or the bomber will immediately blow the bus up.

Jack manages to get onto the bus and does his best to follow the bomber's instructions while trying to figure out the bomber's identity and somehow rescue the passengers.

Hey look, it's baby Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock! It's been at least a decade since I last watched this movie, and I wondered how well it was going to hold up. The answer: it's complicated.

I had forgotten how awkward the dialogue was. Some of the actors could make it work: Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper. Some, not so much. Most of the bus passengers made me cringe whenever they opened their mouths (granted, Doug was supposed to be cringeworthy), and I'm sorry to say that Keanu Reeves also had trouble making his lines sound believable. 

That said, for the most part the movie's excitement factor still worked. Yes, the premise was ridiculous, and there's no way that certain scenes, like the bus jumping the bridge gap, would ever have worked in the real world. Still, I could appreciate the effort that was put into making this movie as much of a nail-biter as possible. Everything that might possibly make audience members nervous was there. Children in peril? A baby in peril? An incapacitated bus driver? Bus passengers made desperate with terror? All there. I think the only thing that wasn't included was a pet in peril.

Jack was always the rock steady SWAT officer who did his best to keep everyone calm and always had a plan...except for one moment when he broke due to a tragedy that affected him personality. Whatever the issues with Keanu Reeves' script, I thought that aspect was very effective. I do wish that the movie had left Jack and Annie's chemistry at just the "they have good chemistry" stage rather than trying to turn it into a romance by the end, though.

All in all, this was decent entertainment as long as you didn't try to engage your brain too much and could get past the issues with the dialogue.

While working on this review, I learned that an attempt was made at a sequel, and all I can do is wince at the thought.


Commentary tracks I didn't listen to.

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