I feel that all the people in the world can be sorted into two groups: those who watch movies over and over again and never get tired of them, and those who watch a movie once and never feel compelled to revisit it.
Guess which one I am.
Yesterday, I dug through my dvd collection looking for something to watch and ended up kicking back and watching Speed.
Oren Loni’s Quick Recap
If you haven’t watched Speed, I have to wonder what you’ve done with your life. There aren’t many movies in the action/adventure genre that can be considered vintage classics, but Speed is the exception. It’s a phenomenal movie.
The movie starts off with a team of S.W.A.T. officers entering a building and, eventually, dismantling a bomb. The scene is full of action, tension, and wisecracking. It’d be a throwaway scene but for two things, it perfectly sets up the character of Jack, preparing the viewer for the challenges he’s about to face. 2) It has a ton of witty dialogue, and I’ll discuss that later.
After the S.W.A.T. team saves the day, there’s some heroic celebration and a little while later, everyone learns that there’s another bomb, this one on a bus and if the bus reaches a certain speed, it won’t be able stop at all. Jack eventually gets on the bus which has already exceeded the speed it wasn’t supposed to top and all sorts of antics, high speed chases, impressive leaps, and general madness ensures.
The other pivotal person on the bus is Annie, who eventually takes over the driving.
For me, Speed is pretty much like the Die Hard movies. It doesn’t matter how much I watch it, it never gets old, and from what I can tell, other people agree. Even people who don’t like the action/adventure genre enjoy this movie.
I think Speed works for a few different reasons.
- The movie never provides the viewer with a dull moment, it’s intense drama and action from start to finish
- When Jack’s partner dies, it provides the emotional connection all viewers want.
- The chemistry between Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock is intense and feels completely organic
- The concept is just silly enough to be intriguing
- It’s a flat out a fun flick
Did you Know …
I mentioned that Speed is full of fantastic dialogue and it is, but there’s a dark side to those great lines. While Graham Yost is credited as the screenwriter, and he did write the initial script, Joss Whedon was responsible for writing the bulk of the dialogue. But you wouldn’t know it from reading the credits.
A relatively unheard of Whedon was asked to serve as a script doctor for the project. According to Amy Pascale’s book Joss Whedon: The Biography, Whedon wrote the bulk of the dialogue, but that Yost insisted on sole writing credit. Eventually the matter went before the Writers Guild who ruled in favor of Yost.
Just how much did Whedon contribute to the movie. According to Yost, Whedon penned about “98.9 percent of the dialogue.”
What’s your favorite thing about Speed?