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The original: 

Speed (1994)


Directed by: 

Jan de Bont (Twister, Tomb Raider 2, The Haunting) 


Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels, Alan Ruck, Joe Morton, Beth Grant 

What’s it about? 

Pop quiz, hot shot. 

There’s a bomb on a bus. Bus goes over fifty, the bomb is armed. It drops below fifty, it explodes. 


What do you do?    ..…What do you do? 


Is this the best concept for an action film ever? It’s certainly right up there. 


Speed excels on a lot of levels. Reeves is stoic, yet flippant; tough, but vulnerable. Bullock is fresh, energetic and insanely likeable. And no one’s eyes shine with psychotic glee better than Dennis Hopper. 


As an action film, it is constructed and realised superbly, each scene put together to within an inch of its life. 

Tight, exciting, brimming with invention and, well, speed, De Bont uses each set piece and scenario to further the action, as well as masterfully ratcheting the tension ever higher, until the films bursts at the seams. 


It takes a scenario that is highly relatable, like being stuck in a lift, and plays on the in-built fear of the cable snapping absolutely perfectly, creating iconic moments and heart racing terror. 

And with a script doctored by Joss Whedon, the banter is fizzing, the emotional punches heavy. 


The other key to its massive success lies deeply with the likeability of the two heroes- Reeves and Bullock have insane chemistry and make for a rootable pair who you like, enjoy watching, and don’t want to explode. 


Speed is slick, tight, exciting and thrilling.  Public transport would never be the same again. 




Annie: “I should probably tell you that I'm taking the bus because I had my driver's license revoked.” 

Jack: “What for?” 

Annie: “Speeding.” 



Harry: “Well, I'm gonna go home, have some sex.” 

Jack: “Harry, you're gonna go home and puke.” 

Harry: “Well that'll be fun too.” 



Jack: “You're crazy! You're fuckin' crazy! 

Howard: “No! Poor people are crazy, Jack. I'm eccentric.” 



Jack: “I have to warn you, I've heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.” 

Annie: “OK. We'll have to base it on sex then.” 


The pitch: "Come up with a sequel to the 1994 action classic."

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