Top critical review
Amusement park thrill ride, nothing more
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2019
Totally bereft of story and character development, _Speed_ is a cinematic roller coaster ride, nothing more.
If you like that kind of thing, _Speed does it very well_.
The premise involves an L.A. city bus that can't go under 50 mph or it will explode, thanks to a bomb planted by a maniac (Dennis Hopper, of course). It crashes through barriers, knocks trucks and cars off the road, and at one point, it makes a 50-foot leap over a gap in an under-construction highway. Fun to watch.
The computerized graphic imagery we've all come to despise in today's films was in its infancy in 1994, so most of the "special effects" are real, and they're pretty spectacular.
Very little is expected from the actors in these kinds of movies, other than reacting hysterically to the terrifying circumstances. We have Hollywood hunk Keanu Reeves as the good cop. Sandra Bullock is the passenger who has to take over at the wheel when the driver is shot by a crazy passenger. We know little or nothing about any of these people. The Hopper character is especially shallow, like a villain out of a Batman movie. These are actors who, I assume, could actually act if they were called upon to do so. Not here. Collect your huge paycheck and laugh all the way to the bank.
In its 25 year anniversary, _Speed_ is being written about in retrospect as one of the top action films of all time. I can't argue. It's not profound or thought-provoking, but neither is a roller coaster ride.