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Speed (1994)

Get ready for rush hour

Directed by:

Jan de Bont

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 116 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb, it’s on a bus, and if the speed of said bus drops below 50mph then it’s going to be snuff-it time for Sandra Bullock, that bloke who played Cameron in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off‘ and a whole host of vaguely-recognisable Hollywood extras. What do you do?

If ‘Speed’ is anything to go by, the answer to the above question is probably send for Keanu Reeves. He might seem to be a bit of a dullard and, let’s face it, ‘The Matrix: Reloaded’ is a pile of pap – but he sure knows how to board a speeding coach, defuse a bomb, fool the baddie (Dennis Hopper) and get the girl. His mum’s bound to be proud.

This film is often criticised for its’ questionable acting (well, it IS a Keanu movie), ridiculously unrealistic plot points (the bus leaps a fifty-foot gorge) and diabolical script (Hopper and Reeves take it in turns to fire God-awful one-liners back and forward between one another). But there’s little denying that, as action-packed no-brainers go, this one’s up there with the very best of the lot.

There’s no time for a breather as debutant director Jan de Bont keeps things moving at the most rip-roaring of paces. From the opening section where Reeves and unlikely sidekick Jeff Daniels defuse a bomb threat in an elevator, to the main story on board the bus, and then to the final climactic battle aboard a runaway subway car, this is one of the classic edge-of-the-seaters.

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It's Got: Thrills and spills seldom matched by your average action jaunt.

It Needs: To be viewed with no shortage of suspended disbelief.

DVD Extras A host of goodies including documentaries, director & cast interviews, extended/deleted scenes, photo gallery, TV spots, trailers, press kit, and even a Billy Idol music video! DVD Extras Rating: 10/10

Alternatives:

Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Speed 2: Cruise Control

Summary

The acting and script are less than impressive, but for sheer entertainment 'Speed' packs a fantastic punch.

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