Daneeka Abellard

Directed By: Jan de Bont

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton, Alan Ruck, and Glenn Plummer

Speed is definitely a classic action film with an interesting premise. After Officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reaves) thwarts expert bomber Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper), Payne decides to get some revenge. He sets up a little game in which a city bus in Los Angeles will explode if Jack loses. Now, there are many ways to lose this game concocted by Payne, and Jack manages to find most of them.  You’ll definitely have a good time while he does though.

Speed is a pretty great movie, especially for the action lover. From the constraints set by Payne (e.g. the bus having to maintain a speed over 50 mph) to ones brought on by LA traffic (e.g. pedestrians not looking both ways when crossing the street), the action never really stops and lends itself to being surprisingly believable. Even in the few lulls of the movie, the excitement is still maintained through the investigation into Payne’s background (Side Note: Hopper’s delivery for Payne was by far the best acting performance in the film). However, with all its greatness, Speed has some serious flaws if you pay close enough attention.

Whether it’s the bad writing or poor delivery, the dialogue in the film leaves a lot to be desired. When the movie tries to take itself seriously, the dialogue ends up being clunky and cheesy. Also, there are lots of little one-liners thrown out there and most of them work.  When they don’t though, you might just cringe.

Another aspect of the film that doesn’t completely work is the ending. Honestly, the last 10 minutes of the movie should have been rewritten or shortened. By the end, you’ve seen most of the action you need to see and screenwriter Graham Yost recycles plot devices used earlier in the movie.  Yost is just trying to make the recycled material bigger and better. However, his attempts fall flat and he fails. This ultimately gives the ending a repetitive, boring feel that doesn’t do justice to the rest of the film.

Those things shouldn’t keep you from enjoying Speed though, and a couple beers will make it so you don’t even notice.  This classic action flick gets a 0.06% rating.