Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, Jeff Daniels
Directed By: Jan de Bont
Written By: Graham Yost
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 56 min
The tag lines printed on all the promotional bumph accompanying a movie release are supposed to give you an extra clue as to what the film is about. They can sometimes be cheesy, stupid, occasionally clever, and even weird at times. Chicken Run’s tag line was ‘Escape or die frying.’ Fun and clever. The Big Lebowski’s was ‘Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail.’ File that under weird and cooky. Alien 3‘s was ‘The bitch is back!’, which was actually pretty awesome, and arguably smarter than the film!
The tag line for Speed was ‘get ready for rush hour‘, which I think falls into the cheesy yet pretty accurate category, because this film is such a ride, and once the action on the bus gets going, it doesn’t let up! Speed’s super simple premise is so effective it should be criminal! Bus goes over 50 mph, bomb armed. Bus drops below 50 mph, bus goes boom!
From that point on I expect this movie just wrote itself. Let’s have the United Colors of Benetton of racial diversity on the bus for extra drama. Throw in a couple of great performances from Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, who absolutely ooze chemistry. Add a close friend in jeopardy to keep things tense, and finally, have an insane villain screwing with everyone! Played here by a scene chewing Denis Hopper in awesome form.
This film’s logic doesn’t bear even the slightest scrutiny, and if you can’t just keep stuffing your face with popcorn and enjoy the ride then don’t bother watching it. This film is rated R, but for the life of me I couldn’t see why. Maybe the terrorist theme? Or the violence? Which actually wasn’t that graphic so the rating seems a bit hash to me.
This is a slick-looking film and pretty exciting, so if a theater were screening it that’s the show I’d like to see. At home a HD viewing on a large TV is recommended.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>