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"Speed" was a runaway success in 1994. It was a block-buster in every sense of the word and critically speaking, it is an excellent motion picture. The film deals with an LAPD swat officer (Keanu Reeves) who is playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with crazed ex-cop Dennis Hopper. After Reeves stops Hopper from blowing up a high-rise building, the next obstacle is a city bus. Hopper has rigged the bus to explode if the "speed" ever drops below 50 miles per hour. Sandra Bullock, in her star-making role, plays an unlucky passenger who becomes the center of attention when she is forced to be the driver when the original navigator is accidently shot. The great thing about "Speed" is the fact that it never tries to be more than it is. It goes for non-stop action, thrills, chills, and spills. However, Dennis Hopper's character is somewhat complex and his performance probably should have garnered him an Oscar nomination. A great film in spite of the fact it is from the action genre. 5 stars out of 5.
Take Keanu Reeves as a cop willing to shoot hostages, Dennis Hopper as a crazed bomber, and the beautiful Sandra Bullock as a reckless, "substitute" bus driver, combine them, and what do you get? You get one of the smartest, most high-energy action films ever made. Be prepared to hold on for dear life after you watch this one. It will blow you away with plenty of violence, breathtaking explosions, and cliffhanger action sequences. A thrill ride! 4/4
If ever there was a film I wished I had seen at the theater,this would be the one.It's a great combination of a well written story, great direction,and a great cast.It's one of those films that you want to like so much,and it does not disappoint.The only thing that bothered me about the film is perhaps is the insertion of ill timed corny remarks ("He lost his head"),and the ending could have been done better,but overall a great action film worth owning.
Speed is one of my favorite action movies of all time, just a notch
below contemporaries like Terminator 2 and Die Hard. The premise is so
simple that it's almost a parody of movie pitches (Homer Simpson's line
was "I saw this movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city,
keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would
explode! I think it was called 'The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down'.").
Fortunately this film came to be much better than the sum of its parts,
and it's deservedly remembered as one of the most entertaining films of
What distinguishes Speed is its humanity, due in no small part to the character of Annie (Sandra Bullock). The best example of this is the moment when Annie, while driving the bus, thinks she has struck a baby stroller. She becomes so distraught that she lets go of the steering wheel, never mind the fact that she is in charge of driving a bomb-laden bus through the L.A. suburbs. It's one of several moments that draw us into the film by helping us identify with the characters, and it's all the more elegant for its simplicity. This movie isn't complex, but it doesn't claim to be.
There is a certain irony that Speed succeeds so well on a human level, since Jan de Bont is not generally considered an "actor's director". He started as a cinematographer, and even when he talks about directing he discusses technical aspects and seldom mentions working with actors. Nowhere was this more evident than Speed 2, which pretty much killed his directorial career. Given that, it's all the more remarkable what he pulled off in the original Speed, as everything seemed to come together for him.
The overall performances really serve this picture well. Keanu is at his best (which is to say, mediocre), Sandra launched a career based on this movie, and Dennis Hopper did a wonderful job as the sardonic villain. Plus he has one of my favorite bad-guy lines of all time (Traven: "You're crazy." Payne: "Poor people are crazy, Jack. I'm eccentric.").
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pop quiz, hot-shot - what's the most exciting action movie you've ever seen
with a bus in it?
Right, the answer is "Speed" and if you've seen it then you'll have to agree that there is more action in this one movie than any ten generic action flicks that have been released in the last ten years.
A trend-setter the likes of "Die Hard", "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Lethal Weapon", "Speed"'s premise is simple - a bus is wired by a madman (Dennis Hopper) to blow up if it drops below 50 MPH. This is to give the cop (Keanu Reeves) who ruined his last effort a run for his money in trying to save the day. In the ensuing efforts, a woman (Sandra Bullock) is recruited to drive the bus and keep it over 50 MPH at all times.
And for as deceivingly simple as it is, "Speed" pulls out all the stops by making every scene a nail-biter (the bomb discovery, Keanu getting aboard the bus, Sandra driving over an incomplete gap in a highway, etc. - the list is endless) and all the main characters (and a few of the supporting ones) are about as smart as your average movie-goer and have enough of these kinds of movies to figure out what the other guy's move will be and act on it. I LOOOOVE movies like that.
Keanu is far more heroic in this movie than he has been before (and since); Jeff Daniels is born to play best pal and does so with good-nature; Sandra is a delight to watch as well as hear - she has a voice you literally can wrap yourself up in; Hopper adds to his nutso roles with some droll lines that sound all the spicier delivered Hopper-style. Everyone is great and gives their all.
The movie is all one long action set-piece, which is what the action fan expects when they plunk down their money then sit down with their popcorn. They get their money's worth here and then some. "Speed" was obviously written by someone who loves action films as much as the action film fans that watch them. Good match-up.
Nine stars for "Speed", and let's hear it for the magic of surveillance cameras.
Speed was a revelation to me . All of a sudden I was on the edge of my seat pulling for the hero. Up until that time I always knew the guy with muscles was going to win no matter what. But Keanu made me want him to win , he got me involved with the story. He did the same in Matrix. The hero is once again exciting.
'Speed' has to be the ultimate action film, involving you in an intense
experience from the opening credits until the smash-bang climax. Not only do
Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock do top work, but Dennis Hopper makes the
most compelling villain of the '90s.
It all starts with a revenge-driven extortionist letting authorities know he has planted a bomb on a bus. The catch is it will explode if the bus is driven at less than fifty miles an hour. The script races along with non-stop action and surprise twists, without ever giving the audience time to stop for breath. It's a little too intense for its own good and could have used some lighter moments to give us a break!
Taut and suspenseful, with excellent effects and gripping suspense that keeps you riveted. Some of the stunts seem too incredible to be believable but in a film of this kind you have to go with the flow. The stunt work itself is breathtaking and makes it easy to see why the film is one of the most highly rated action films of the '90s.
Enough action sequences for three movies. Sandra Bullock has the cuteness controls set on HIGH, and Keanu Reeves plays it straight, a lot like his part in "Point Break". Dennis Hopper is, of course, one of the most believably creepy movie villains in the business today. (See him in "Blue Velvet") OK, there were some physical impossibilities in the film, but c'mon, most action films have them. (I've driven buses before, and they will not do many of the things in this movie.) This movie kept my eyes glued to the screen throughout. Grade: B+
One of the most explosive and epic action films is Speed! It stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton,Jeff Daniels, and Glenn Plummer! Reeves is really good. I like how his character is. Dennis Hopper is excellent! He's funny, he's mean, and he means business! Hopper was perfect in My opinion! Bullock was also very good. Plummer was also is funny and Morton and Daniels also perform good. The action is really great and you never know what to expect. The music by Mark Mancina is good and the direction by Jan de Bont is very good. I think that Speed is an excellent film which is always exciting! If you like the cast mentioned above and want to see Dennis Hopper in a great performance then I strongly recommend that you watch or even buy Speed today!
Pop quiz...There's a space on your DVD or Video rack. What do you do?
do you do?
Beat the rush hour, run the red lights, stay above 50mph and make your way to your nearest video supplier to buy or rent Speed.
This film is a definite MUST for those people who enjoy a good Action Thriller type film (and maybe even for those who don't).
I have a lot of love for Speed and no matter how many times I see it; it STILL continues to deliver non-stop action and incredible stunts & special effects. Jan de Bont did a fantastic job directing this and I can't believe that the same guy who made this also made such a dire sequel like Cruise Control (but that's another story).
Keanu Reeves once more proves what a great actor he is and that he is well suited for these types of movies. Speed also helped launch Sandra Bullock's career. Dennis Hopper's portrayal of Howard Payne is fantastic and Speed is a worth addition to his already impressive CV of films. He makes a great villain.
The main three stars of Reeves, Bullock, & Hopper is strongly supported by Joe Morton (Terminator 2) and Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber) and it's also nice to see supporting actors actually doing something.
I am proud to say that Speed has a place on my DVD rack. A rack that won't be getting its space used up by Cruise Control (Special Edition or not!)
I have so many more positive things to say about this film and I think I said most of them in my User Comments for Cruise Control in which I compared that film with this. There's NO comparison. I think I all but destroyed Cruise Control with my comments leaving Speed as the clear winner. Speed most definitely stays above 50mph.
My vote: 10/10
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