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Overall Rating

Awesome: 37.61%
Worth A Look48.72%
Average: 5.13%
Pretty Bad: 5.13%
Total Crap: 3.42%

5 reviews, 87 user ratings

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Speed (1994)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by MP Bartley

"I feel the need for...erm...oh what is it?"
5 stars

One of the great 'concept' movies. By concept I mean a film that can be summed up in one line but works all the better because of it. For instance, 'Die Hard' is ' a cop stuck in a skyscraper with terrorists'. 'Alien' is 'big nasty monster chomps its way through a ships crew'. And 'Speed' is one of these movies.

The concept being a bomb is strapped to a bus which will be armed when it goes over 50 miles per hour and then will detonate if it falls below that. Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves)a SWAT member is on the bus who along with makeshift bus driver Annie Potts (Sandra Bullock), is trying to keep the bus on the road and running. Meanwhile his partner Harry (Jeff Bridges) is trying to track down the bomber responsible Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper).

As well as being a great concept 'Speed' is notable for several reasons. It really set off the careers of Reeves and Bullock and it's one of the few action films together with 'Die Hard' from the last 20 years that still stands the test of time.

Essentially 'Speed' is three long set-pieces strung together. First there's the bomb in the elevator shaft, then the bus and finally the bomb on the train.

Despite this, it still works brilliantly. The elevator shaft is an ominous forewarning of events still to come, while the bus sequence still ranks as one of the great strung out action sequences that whitens the knuckles. It's a shame then that the climax on the train doesn't have the same effect as the previous two sequences and feels tacked on.

It is the middle section that really crackles with tension however, as the bus races through the city and across the freeway and it feels like it could be a disaster movie in the style of 'The Poseidon Adventure' or 'The Towering Inferno' with desperate passengers making suicidal bids for escape or doomed rescue missions. Da Bonts direction is crucial here and surprisingly for such a hack, he has a tense, sweaty hold on the action. He also fills the film with little moments that still resonate today. The moment with the pram. The look on Harry's face as he realises he's strayed into Payne's lair. And of course the bus jump.
Looking back, the memory has possibly cheated with it not seeming nearly as impressive as it was (filmed in close-up with no real sense of the gap in the freeway it's had to jump)but it still get's the adrenaline pumping.

The cast throw themselves in with energy and it's refreshing to see a Bullock film before she became so damn irritating and to see Reeves' action hero roots. Bridges is good support as ever, but Hopper is an acquired taste. He's so over the top he's coming back down again as he proceeds to chew his way through every bit of a scenery around him. "I'm coming to get you Jack! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!"

'Speed' is a film that still lasts and looks to be the genuine article when we talk about great action films. It's tense, exciting, pacy and funny.

Sequel? What sequel?

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/21/02 02:13:37
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell a killer rush 5 stars
8/26/13 DB Good movie, but I like Point Break better 4 stars
6/01/10 User Name It's just stylish enough and just brainless enough to pass as popcorn entertainment. 3 stars
12/06/07 Pamela White Speed is a great action flick Sandra and Keaneu have sparks great effects, believable plot 5 stars
3/14/07 man not the best, but I liked it anyway 4 stars
3/09/07 johnnyfog Hopper goes a little too far. Creative movie regardless 5 stars
2/22/07 fentermine diet loss pill program weight 3 stars
2/06/07 Matt I'm no Bullock fan but this all about the action and the stunts. It works! 4 stars
1/27/07 action movie fan smart suspenseful action thrill ride-best fil m of 1994 5 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 5 stars
10/03/06 Jeremy Davies Great entertainment 4 stars
7/09/06 chris f a very good action movie 4 stars
9/10/05 Michael For speed freaks ... weak story ...but it hooks you 4 stars
8/17/05 ES Thank God buses are so aerodynamic! = were Seagal and Van Damme too busy for this loaf? 1 stars
8/12/05 D Buckley Almost everything worked in this one. 5 stars
7/03/05 Quigley had some pretty cool action scenes. reeves redeemed himself later on, in this he is lame 4 stars
5/26/05 tony great movie! Action movie lovers watch out because this is better than sex! 5 stars
5/02/05 Monster W. Kung If you think this movie is intelligent, my dog would probably outsmart you. 2 stars
4/13/05 Indrid Cold Sure it's dumb, but it's far above average action fare, very thrilling. 5 stars
1/08/05 keithers.. A great film from a one hit wonder of a director 5 stars
12/10/04 Kristina Williams the only movie where I didnt want Bullock to die. ONLY one. 4 stars
11/08/04 JFDGNMF GFYURY 5 stars
7/28/04 Daveman A fast paced genuine thrill ride, not seen one of those in a while 5 stars
7/13/04 Jamaal Thomas Hold On To Your Hats! This Is The Best Movie 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody An excellent action flick! so what if it could never really happen? 5 stars
5/05/04 Denise Duspiva Fun 4 stars
5/04/04 Jack Sommersby Excepting its protracted finale, this is first-rate stuff (though Bullock is grating). 4 stars
4/26/04 Monster W. Kung Dumb to the bone trash for drooling morons. Garbage. 2 stars
2/08/04 ROY L. CAIN,JR. The movie's at the whim of a madman, Dennis Hopper. 5 stars
1/31/04 Liam McIntyre Bloody brilliant! 5 stars
1/10/04 kaz you gotta love it 5 stars
1/02/04 boom boom a pure piece of art 5 stars
12/14/03 Agent Sands The suspense, excitement, & filmmaking are all top-notch. 5 stars
12/07/03 john it's not Die Hard -it's not even 48 Hours - but it delivers a good time 4 stars
9/15/03 Priscilla action classic - view it if you want a good time 4 stars
9/12/03 Mr adventure pop quiz hot shot....(great line people=) 5 stars
5/19/03 Jareth Packed with action and intensity and very stylish too. 5 stars
3/13/03 Shadaan I loved it. DONT ASK ME WHY !!!!! 4 stars
3/02/03 Monster W. Kung Lame-brained American popcorn movie making at its worst. A piece of crap. 1 stars
2/04/03 Turtle It didn't really blow me away until the end, and then it took a turn toward the awesome. 5 stars
12/22/02 Shaun the action never stops! 5 stars
12/04/02 Jiz Good, but doesn't stand up to repeat viewings 4 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum The only Bullock film I like 5 stars
11/17/02 Nevz Very fast paced movie 4 stars
8/30/02 Interrog8 How can a movie be good when 1/2 of it is shot on a bus? I don't know, but it is. 5 stars
8/05/02 Grinder This is a ridiculous plot but not a funny move. Lame. 1 stars
8/02/02 I Can't Swim Like that bus would run w/a puncture in its gastank. Too many things like that ruined this 2 stars
7/22/02 ! Great 5 stars
7/13/02 R.W. Welch Carried a bit too far, but certainly a fun ride. 4 stars
3/18/02 Mary The most thrilling movie I saw. Sandra and Keanu are excellent. 5 stars
3/01/02 Chowie Pretty good, but then it's fucking brilliant if you compare it to number one 3 stars
2/28/02 Gracy Lionheart Hmm...action movies have little to do with reality...which is why I like them. 4 stars
2/07/02 Monster W. Kung Way too dumb and far-fetched action movie. 2 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Jan De Bont's only good film. Very exciting and some pretty cool performances. 4 stars
8/04/01 K.C. Au That subway ride was unnecessary, but I liked everything on the bus. Very intense! 4 stars
7/28/01 Steve A pretty slow movie (90% of it's on that bus), but very smart and well thought-out. 3 stars
6/23/01 Justin Cheung Lot's of action, Keanu and Sandra gel well, this is a great flick 5 stars
6/15/01 Bada Bing Crosby Plot holes are large as the planet Earth; among the worse movies ever made 1 stars
6/11/01 I love movies overrated but not bad at all 4 stars
5/31/01 Stewart A pure adrenaline rush from start to finish. And it had a thrilling premise. 4 stars
5/01/01 R.W. Welch Ingenious plot premise, but it gets carried too far. 3 stars
4/19/01 Tam Well-paced, with lots of chemistry between Bullock and Reeves. 4 stars
2/16/01 Jake Hopper didn't disappoint 5 stars
1/09/01 Keanuette Gimme SPEED anytime of the day. KEANU ROCKS! He's such a Hunk! 5 stars
11/26/00 Cristopher Revilla good action flick, though not quite believable (especially at the end, you'll know what) 4 stars
8/13/00 Joyce constant action, no boring parts.. 5 stars
7/20/00 IBDN It is rare to see an action film of this quality. 5 stars
6/28/00 Naushad Khanji The most thrilling movie ever made.A model for others to follow.Absolutely First Rate. 5 stars
6/01/00 danilo excellent flick. would've been better had keanu and sandra shared more screen chemistry 4 stars
3/31/00 Bruce A fast paced, non stop action thriller 5 stars
3/22/00 Lame-Oh Best part if they had bitchslapped that Bullock scab 4 stars
2/07/00 steve layne It takes a while to get going, but when it does its awesome up until the far-fetched ending 4 stars
1/12/00 dr.d thrilling 4 stars
11/05/99 Anthony Ellis One of the best action movie of all-time. Just leave your brain at the door!! 5 stars
7/11/99 Daria One of the best action flicks ever. 5 stars
7/05/99 Ben Leostein Rating: *** (out of ****) Category: "Good" 4 stars
6/22/99 Elizaveta I actually fell asleep. 2 stars
6/03/99 lucas jackson theres only one good thing about this movie the bad guy,Dennis hopper 2 stars
11/25/98 Fred Keanu came millimeters away from fucking this up. 4 stars
11/17/98 Jules Y'all are whining about II but the original was not great shakes either.... 3 stars
10/18/98 Sailor Moon Ate My Balls Fun to watch, even the subway scene rocks 4 stars
9/14/98 Johny Acting is pretty amazing considering the stars 4 stars
9/06/98 Young Einstein Apart from defying gravity at times, this movie kicked all freckle. 5 stars
9/04/98 Badass A speedball of a flick! 5 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee An outstanding action movie. Keanu was great, Sandra wasn't awful. 4 stars
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  10-Jun-1994 (R)
  DVD: 07-Feb-2006


  02-Aug-1994 (M)

Directed by
  Jan de Bont

Written by
  Graham Yost
  Joss Whedon

  Keanu Reeves
  Dennis Hopper
  Sandra Bullock
  Joe Morton
  Jeff Daniels
  Alan Ruck

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