Wow! SPEED is DIE HARD with all of the slow parts taken out. One
non-stop roller coaster of a movie. White knuckle city. The woman
next to me (seriously) had her fingers in her ears during the entire
Amazing to me at least, I found a movie where Keanu Reeves (awful
in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and only slightly better in LITTLE BUDDHA)
finally proves that not only can he act, he can be do some great stuff
if he is cast and directed right. Jeff Daniels (a much under
appreciated brilliant actor from SOMETHING WILD and GETTYSBURG) is
Reeves SWAT cop sidekick. Daniels is the brains and Reeves is the guts
of this team. The mad bomber is played by Dennis Hopper who is known
for his overacting (e.g. PARIS TROUT) but can be an excellent actor if
the director keeps him under control. He is terrific in this movie
because of the director, Jan De Bont. Lots of small actors do a great
job. Alan Ruck (who was super as Ferris Bueler's pal in FERRIS
BUELER'S DAY OFF) is the quintessential and obnoxious LA tourist.
Sandra Bullock is great as the driver of the bus. Good slightly
underdone, ongoing romance between her and Reeves.
The plot of the show sounds pretty ridiculous on the surface, a
bus must never be driven under 50 miles per hour, or it will explode.
In the show it works fine. Keeping the bus going at this speed in LA
traffic can be pretty hard. Many great stunt and driving scenes.
Watch the words on the bus and on the billboards for douses of subtle
The script by Graham Yost is filled with memorable one liners.
One of my favorite parts of the script is: "Pop quiz. You have a
villain holding a gun to a hostage's head, and he is running for the
plane and about to leave with him. What do you do? Answer: shot the
hostage." You will have to see the show to hear why this makes sense.
SPEED runs 1:56 but feels like half that since it goes so fast.
It carries a well deserved R rating for violence. Every teenager in
America will probably want to see it and will undoubtedly enjoy it if
they go. It easily won *** 1/2 from me and a big recommendation.
Watch out when you leave the theater. Your adrenaline is liable
to be rushing so much that you are bouncing off walls. Best to have a
designated driver who does not get to see the movie.
Copyright © 1994 Steve Rhodes