Speed is a 1994 film starring Keanu Reeves, who plays an LAPD police officer trapped on a bus with a bomb planted on it. This bomb will detonate if the bus’s speed falls below 50 mph. It is the job of Keanu Reeves (and Sandra Bullock, who is also present on the bus) to keep the bus moving at 50 mph in order to save the civilians aboard.
Unfortunately, Keanu Reeves has never been much of an actor I really enjoyed. Most of his performances are monotone and done with little to no emotion or care. I never liked him in The Matrix, and I’ve never liked him in Speed. He does some shouting and fight, but most of the time maintains this look of boredom and disinterest. Which is very surprising given just how exciting the film is.
In fact, the best aspect about Speed is how energetic it is. From beginning to end Speed is jam packed with car chases, explosions, cool stunts, and anything else action related they could throw in. There were few, if any, lulls in the film.
Dennis Hopper as the villain in Speed is always an interesting choice (like in Super Mario Bros. and Blue Velvet), a choice that I think works really well here. He always plays a great over-the-top villain that’s been drinking the Kool-Aid for far too long. Hopper’s mannerisms and his conniving personality both make for a wacky but enjoyable performance from him.
Overall, Speed is a fun popcorn action film that you can’t take too seriously. It has some good effects and some fun moments, but it never really goes beyond that. I wish there was a little more here, but I guess I’ll take what I can get from a film of this caliber.
The Verdict: B-