Speed (1994)

Directed by Jan De Bont
(number 450)

I always forget how strong the opening to this movie is. The elevator sequence is intense and fast and it’s excellent for building up the characters of Jack and his partner Harry. The absolute trust they have in each other and more importantly the way they work as cops.

According to imdb, Keanu punching the door and cracking the glass was an accident, but they kept it in. I like it, because it conveys his urgency and his dedication to getting onto the bus to help the people – to diffuse the situation.

The down time between the elevator and the bus is minimal, just enough to introduce us to Sandra Bullock’s Annie and to show Jack celebrating and having friends. Once the stuff with the bus starts it’s not actually super fast paced. There are plenty of quiet moments on the bus where they talk about what’s going on, or relay information to the police Jack is radioing.

I love the soundtrack which is relatively subtle about ramping up the already tense scenarios and I really think Keanu is brilliant in this role. It adheres to my theory that he’s great when he’s being the straight guy, the one that crazy shit happens around and he has to react to.

Does it make me love the people? It actually does. I love Jack, he’s such a superhero and I do love me some maverick cops. Annie is not only adorable but she’s tough and she spends most of the movie driving the bus under a huge amount of pressure which is a nice change for a woman in an action film. She does get used as a standard damsel in distress in the last third though which is sad-making.

How many times have I seen this movie? I don’t even know. I remember talking to Regan about it when we were 15 and suddenly scared of taking the lift XD

I love that someone put together this locations list… I was thinking a map of the route the bus takes would be awesome, but of course it’s not a linear thing, they filmed it all over the place.

Bechdel test: Yeah, Annie very briefly talks to Helen… um. Along the lines of ‘hi’ ‘good morning’. Does that count? I feel like I’m reaching with that one, but…Maybe? Maybe that’s enough.

Best line: “Pop quiz, hot shot!”

Harry: “I’m gonna go home, and have some sex!”

Ortiz:”That guy sure has a hard on for this bus”

Jack: Fuck me!
Stephens (translating for the police on the other end of the radio): …. oh darn.

State of Mind: Hell yeah. Ace actiony fun.


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