Speed (1994)

speed poster 1994 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great paced action film with a fun class

That bus jump is just unrealistic

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Speed

Studio:  Mark Gordon Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 10, 1994

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


So…doing anything later tonight, lady?

Bus #2525 is in trouble.  The L.A. bus has been wired to explode by a vindictive bomber (Dennis Hopper) who has already been foiled once.  If the bus drops below 50 miles per hour, the bomb is triggered.  Now bomb squad expert Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and a woman named Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) with a suspended license are trying to find a way to disarm the bomb…but Howard Payne wants his money and will do anything to get it.

Directed by Jan de Bont, Speed turned into a smash hit.  The action film got surprisingly positive reviews and helped make stars out of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.  It is consistently rated among the best action films and was up for three Oscars.  Speed won the Academy Award for Best Sound and Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing but lost Best Film Editing to Forrest Gump.


Smile for a selfie!!!

Speed is ridiculous…but fun.  The movie is action to the max and can easily be tagged with the “non-stop thrill-ride” that is so often thrown around by critics, but for Speed, it is pretty deserving.  Even almost twenty years after it was made, the movie is a fun ride.

The plot of Speed is what hinders speed.  Fortunately, the movie does have a lot of action and different action throughout the movie.  The opening elevator scene is pretty exciting, the bus scene is obviously the most memorable part, but then you are also treated to the fun ending on the subway.  Not much of the film is plausible, but it is easy to go with and can be treated as believable.


Pop quiz hotshot, who is going to end up dead here?

Say what you want about Keanu Reeves, but he’s very likable here.  The movie originally was planned for Stephen Baldwin, William Baldwin, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Around Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Tom Cruise, and Tom Hanks among others…The sidekick Jeff Daniel was even considered for the lead for a while with Annie being played by Ellen DeGeneres…now that would have been interesting.  I am not the biggest Sandra Bullock fan, but in some of these earlier roles, she’s nice.  Dennis Hopper has always played a great psycho and continues that trend here.


Speed…the movie that made you believe a bus could fly!

Visually, Speed is also lauded, but I also think it hinders it a bit.  I think visually the movie looks great and has held up, but even in 1994 when it was released, I didn’t buy the bus jump scene…I hate that one scene can ruin a movie, but this almost ruined it for me. It just isn’t physically possible for that bus to jump that gap.  It looks like it went off a ramp, plus crooked, plus the interstate was curving…and it landed without breaking an axel and kept its 50 miles-per-hour speed up…yeah…that’s possible.

Speed is a fun movie and surprisingly still fun.  I can’t believe Speed, but for some reason it gets a pass just due to its pacing and characters.  Speed was followed by the much maligned follow-up  Speed 2:  Cruise Control in 1997.

Related Links:

 Speed 2:  Cruise Control (1997)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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