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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Speed
Directed by Jan De Bont
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 06/94 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - violence, language

In the early part of this century, Futurism emerged as an innovative challenge to the art world. The painters and sculptors in this movement wanted to depict the vortex of modern life--cities, machines, and headlong speed. Although these visionary artists were eventually overtaken by the arrival of motion pictures, they articulated the modern mania for velocity, motion, and acceleration.

Speed is a fast-paced movie that the Futurists would have saluted. Here, machines and motion are center stage. Keanu Reeves plays a gutsy and nutsy member of the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT team who outfoxes a mad bomber by saving the passengers trapped in an office building elevator with a dynamite package attached to it.

The psychopath takes it as a personal affront when his efforts are stymied. He rigs a city bus with a bomb and notifies Reeves that once the vehicle's speed falls below 50 miles an hour, it will explode.

The action never slows down in this thriller directed by Jan De Bont, who was the cameraman for Black Rain, Lethal Weapon 3, and Basic Instinct. Speed catches all the dangers, pressures, bureaucratic snafus, and madness of city life where an individual's safety and well being depends so much on the competency of others. Reeves, a most resourceful cop, is assisted in his endeavors by Susan Bullock as a courageous passenger on the bus who takes over as driver.

Speed is filled with plenty of chills and thrills. And just when you think it couldn't deliver any more surprises, the film concludes with a subway ride that will leave you breathless.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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