Speed is one of those movies which does exactly what it says on the tin. It tears along with the machine-tooled precision of a big-budget action film intent on dispensing wall-to-wall thrills, stunts and special effects.
Young cop and bomb-disposal expert Jack Traven (Reeves) must save the passengers of a bus that has a bomb set to explode if the bus goes below 50 mph.
This inventive thriller starts with hostages trapped in an elevator and continues with two chases – one on the bus and another on a subway train.
Reeves is pitted against a maniac ex-cop with a grudge (Hopper) who is orchestrating the mayhem. Sandra Bullock co-stars as the woman who must keep the pedal to the metal on the bomb-primed bus.
The film also revealed Keanu Reeves to be a compelling action hero – next stop: The Matrix (1999).
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) was a laughably poor follow-up – this time it’s on a boat! What’s ropier? Flappy Sandra Bullock, balsa-faced Jason Patric or CGI work that would disgrace a Crazy Frog video? Abandon ship!
Jan De Bont