There have been many ups and downs in John Travolta
’s career, which currently rests in a valley equivalent to the one he’d hit just before “Pulp Fiction
” a quarter-century ago. You might think anything would be an improvement after “Gotti.” Yet the new “Speed Kills
” not only isn’t appreciably better, it’s also bad in much the same way: another cliché-riddled portrait of an underworld-tied figure the movie seems to celebrate as one ballsy Sob, though viewers may find his personality warrants more fumigation than admiration.
Portraying the high-flying times and violent death of the erstwhile “King of Powerboats,” this slick yet hapless concoction offers Travolta an opportunity to swagger humorlessly, clutching babes and trophies for nearly 100 minutes. What’s not to like? Well, everything — unless you’re the star, who seems convinced that this embarrassingly cloddish biopic-slash-thriller actually flatters both him and its subject.