I just re-watched Speed after so many years just because I remember really liking it when I first saw it on TV. Unfortunately, me liking it and a couple other scenes were the only things I could remember. Watching it again made me confused since I couldn't remember seeing half the scenes on that movie. Then again, I saw it probably more than a decade ago so I guess it was a very good decision to watch this one again. It's like re-visiting childhood in a sense and I guess that's always a good thing.
Speed was a 1994 film starring Keanu Reeves as Jack, Dennis Hopper as Howard, and Sandra Bullock as Annie. It's was nominated for several awards, and it also took home a big fat paycheck, grossing around 350 million dollars on a budget of less than 30 million. To say that it had a decent income would be a huge understatement. The reason it earned the big bucks: it was an awesome movie.
The film went by fast! It's that kind of movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, stirring up all the excitement you have in your body. I was really impressed by how much they utilized almost everything on that bus, or any obstacles a running vehicle can encounter: traffic, unfinished freeways, a bomb! Just like Buried (http://mrfilmreviewer.blogspot.com/2012/05/buried.html), the film also had restrictions since the mojority of the film took place in a bus, and there's only so much you can do with a bus. However, unlike Buried, which filmed the whole film using just a single wooden box, Speed had a lot more locations to shoot at, and it also featured the other cast members in different locations. Having said that, the way Jan de Bont, the director of the movie, and Graham Yost, who wrote the film (and from the looks of it, Joss Whedon also helped in the writing process) abused the bus was downright amazing.
The beginning of the movie was very new to me. I remember the film as only being in the bus. Seeing the start of the film with the elevator was weird, but it was a good kind of weird. Plus, it also served as a lead to what would happen next. It set the introduction to the bulk of the film. The ending was also weird because I also couldn't remember it at all. (Semi-spoiler--Proceed to the next paragraph if you haven't seen the movie. But if you like spoilers, read on) In my memory the movie ended when Jack(Reeves) and Annie(Bullock) got off the bus. I distinctly remembered them putting a rod on the pedal of the bus, tying ropes to the steering wheel, and getting on the cover of the access panel. I remembered seeing them under the bus and swirling once the cover hit the ground. I also remembered the bus exploding, and Jack's boss talking to them. And that's it. I thought that was the ending. Everything that happened after that all new to me.
The middle part was just as good as I remember it. The whole sequence was very exciting - too exciting I was cheering on the characters. I know that's weird but it was pretty intense. Imagine having to drive a bus that couldn't go below 50 miles per hour. The pressure of it all was what excited me the most, and also, like I said, how they utilized the bus. The whole chunk was planned out very well and it kept the excitement going. It presented a challenge after the other, which kept the excitement at a constant.
Sandra Bullock has to be one of the most entertaining actresses in Hollywood. I always enjoy watching her, and I don;t think there's been a Sandra Bullock film I didn't like. Yeah, I'm easy to please, but I can't remember a movie where I didn't enjoy her being part of it. I'm probably sounding like a typical fan, but I'm just saying what I think. Keanu Reeves was a fitting actor to play Jack Traven. He was stern and firm, but also vulnerable. I kept thinking he's really good at action movies, having flashbacks of The Matrix. However, the stand out for me was Dennis Hopper as the twisted, demented bomber. He was very convincing playing a sick psycho rather well.
I'm very tempted to watch Speed 2:Cruise Control, which I know failed to impress the critics and the box-office. It was widely panned but I want to see it because it would be unfair to label a movie bad based on the thoughts of others. I want to see it for myself. It;s a little scary though since even Sandra Bullock was not very pleased. I'll let you know if it impressed me or not. At least I'm sure that its predecessor was absolutely fantastic. That's more than enough for me.