In a world where, unbeknownst to the public, all famous pulp fiction heroes are real, one of them, Jake Speed, agrees to help desperate Margaret Winston save her sister from sadistic white slaver Sid, who's operating in Africa.
When her sister is kidnapped by white slavers, only Grandpa knows what to do. He puts in a call to a fictional hero, Jake Speed. She is amazed to find that he actually exists, and that as flesh and blood, is much less formidable than his reputation.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The movie is both a tribute to, and satire of, pulp novels and their heroes. As a tribute to these stories, the movie is set in an alternate reality where, unknowingly to the general public, all of the famous pulp fiction heroes like Remo Williams, a.k.a. The Destroyer, Mack Bolan, a.k.a. The Executioner, and Doc Savage are real, and the novels about them are factual testimonies about their real-life adventures. In the movie, Jake Speed is just one of these real-life pulp heroes, and even talks about his famous colleagues once or twice. However, in real-life, unlike Remo Williams, Mack Bolan, and Doc Savage, Jake Speed is not an actual pulp fiction character, and was entirely made up for this movie, as satire on pulp archetypes and clichés. See more »
"Jake Speed" is a fine movie with a wonderful message. It has its flaws of course. At times it's a little slow. It introduces its villain too far into the story. It's action is paced at the rate of a snail's heartbeat. It has a Z-grade cast (Although I've always admired the work of Karen Kopins, who has the straight-laced good looks of Sandra Bullock).
But with all this going against it, "Jake Speed" really is inspiring, thanks to a charming script by Wayne Crawford(who plays the title role) and Andrew Lane.
Why do I find it so inspiring? Because it says to me "Hey, why not try to be a good person."
The story is essentially a "stranger in a strange land" premise, that is good-and-heroic Jake Speed is placed in the real world where bad things happen to good people. Jake is more than a Boy Scout. He's more than a knight in shining armor. Jake Speed is the patron saint of optimism in a dirty, mean and evil world.
It's because of this that "Jake Speed" really needed to be a hit. It has a great message that should have gotten out to Hollywood and then to the rest of the world.
Imagine a movie industry that really pushed itself to portray good and decent people. I'm not saying that we should be watching the Waltons in every theater at the cineplex, but that it would be nice if more movies such as "Jake Speed" would get a chance. ("Due South," a TV show about a Canadian Mountie, is a good comparison of what can be done to brighten up American entertainment.)
Sure, "Jake Speed" has violence, blood and guns, but the overall message is that if you try hard enough to be a good person, you'll beat the forces of evil every time. 10/14/99
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