Fave Film #67 – Speed
Cast-Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels.
LA SWAT officers, Jack and Harry are called to a downtown highrise when a bomber calls in a ransom demand, holding an elevator full of hostages. When they are able to thwart him, the bomber disappears, presumed dead. It’s hard to keep a good villain dead in an action movie and the bomber shows up again, only this time he’s holding a bus hostage and Jack is the only one who can save them. Well, and Annie, as long as she keeps the bus going over 50 miles per hour.
Why I love it - I’ll start with two of the leads, both of which I love. Keanu has never been better as the tough and buff hero. If I were in a hostage situation I’d love Jack/Keanu to save me. And then kiss me at the end like he did Annie/Sandy. And Sandra was perfection in the role of Annie. She drove that bus over that large gap in the overpass like a professional bus racer. She was rattled but never lost her sparkle. They both had excellent chemistry. Dennis Hopper was a great villain with just enough angst and crazy to make it work. Jeff Daniels was perfect as the long suffering partner trying to impart his years of wisdom to the instinctual driven Jack. Their friendship was a real bright spot for me.
In many action movies like this there are parts (usually extended car chases or fist fights) that leave me bored and my mind wandering, but this movie never had a dull moment. From the excitement of the elevator dropping in the first scene to the careening subway at the end this was non-stop excitement. Perfectly paced and just enough special effects to make it fun.
Yes, as with most thrillers like this, you have to leave your common sense at the play button, but if you do you’re in for a treat.