Speed (1994)

Director: Jan de Bont
Plot: A young cop must save the passengers of a bus that has a bomb set to explode if the bus goes below 50 MPH.

Genre: Action/Thriller
Awards: Won 2 Oscars - sound, sound editing. Nom. for 1 Oscar - film editing
Runtime: 116min
Rating: PG for violence and language.




Speed is frankly one of the best action-thrillers to be released in the 1990s. Everything one expects of the genre is there for viewers to savor. From start to end, it fully embodies the word 'speed'. Director Jan de Bont keeps the film tightly structured through the use of crisp editing, and the inventive screenplay by Graham Yost allows tension to literally accelerate to top speed. The film builds up the suspense right from the office elevator sequence, and then it sucks viewers in like a whirlwind as the situation unfolds nail-bitingly on a speeding bus with a bomb.

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock show brilliant chemistry, and are well-cast for their respective roles. In fact, we as viewers, like them so much to the extent that we still fear for their lives on the umpteen viewing. Another reason Speed still stands the test of time is because the adrenaline induced is genuine, unlike the majority of action motion pictures that we get these days. Dennis Hopper is convincing as the terrorist, we hate him as much as we love the protagonists.

De Bont shows mastery of the action-thriller genre with Speed (his first feature film). It's an exemplary example of focused film-making combined with an exhilarating storyline. Speed is a highly impressive motion picture that will always get on your nerves. These sort of films appear rarely (sometimes once in a few years). But when it does, it beats riding on a roller coaster.

SCORE: 9/10

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