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Speed Movie Review
"Tell me again Harry, why did I take this job?" Jack.
"Oh come on, thirty more years of this, you get a tiny pension and a cheap gold watch." Harry Temple
Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) is a Los Angeles police officer, not the sharpest cookie in the box, but definitely likes the thrill. The movie opens with Jack and his partner, Detective Harry Temple (Jeff Daniels), speeding to a hostage situation in downtown Los Angeles. As their car sails through the air on the way to respond to the call, you get your adrenaline rush.
Terrorist (Dennis Hopper, at his best) has taken over an office building and has trapped a number of workers in an elevator he has rigged to blow up. Thanks to Jack and his partner, the plot is thwarted and terrorist is killed – or was he?
Fast forward to the day after Jack and Harry receive medals to honor their bravery, the dead terrorist suddenly resurfaces. He blows up a city bus and has rigged another bus to explode if the bus speed falls below 50 miles per hour. Speed! Jack must make his way onto the moving bus and find a way to save the passengers from exploding. Once aboard the bus he meets Annie (Sandra Bullock). Why is Annie riding the bus? She lost her driver’s license, ironically, for speeding. Despite losing her license, Annie becomes the driver on this wild adventure after the bus driver is accidently shot by another passenger.
If you like to watch movies with character development, pay attention to Jack. In the beginning we are led to believe his partner Temple is the smart one. In fact, the terrorist chides Jack, “We all know that Temple is the brains of the outfit.” As the movie progresses, we get to see Jack “grow a brain."
While Speed excels in action, it definitely falls short in the romance department. For some reason, the writers felt the need to add a romantic component to the movie between Jack and Annie. “Relationships that start under intense circumstances, they never last.” This premise was completely played out in the sequel movie, Speed 2. Unfortunately, the writer’s need for romance distracts from the last few exciting moments of the film.
Speed has a host of characters that add to the success of the movie. Joe Morton (Capt. MacMahon), Alan Ruck (Stephens) and Hawthorne James (Sam) all give decent performances. The strong performances of many actors helped to make Speed an Oscar winning film.
I would rate this movie a 4 out of 5 for the action alone.
Runtime: 116 min
Rating R for violence and language, a couple of gruesome scenes
Release Date: 10 June 1994
Director: Jan de Bont
Get your copy at Amazon.com
This movie is part of my personal action movie collection.
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