Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
A bomber (Dennis Hopper) rigs explosives to a commuter bus, leaving a cop (Keanu Reeves) and a passenger (Sandra Bullock) to save the day in this action thriller directed by Jan de Bont.
When this film was released, it became a surprise critical and huge commercial hit and to be honest after viewing this film on multiple occasions, it is very easy to understand why.
Keanu Reeves gives a very good performance in his role as Jack, a Los Angeles Police Department Officer who discovers that a bomb has been planted because he has angered retired bomb squad member Howard (Dennis Hopper) after Jack foiled Howard’s attempt at taking hostages.
When Jack discovers the bomb, he and a fellow passenger will do absolutely everything they can to save the day. He is told that if the bus goes below 50mph, then the bus will explode.
Reeves suits his role very well and gives one of the best performances of his career, while Hopper offers solid support as Howard, the man who is determined to get revenge and he suits the role of the villain very well.
There is also good support to be had from Jeff Daniels as Harry, the other officer who tries to help Reeves in the best possible way he can trying to defuse the bomb.
However, I believe that the best performance goes to Sandra Bullock in her role as Annie, the passenger on the bus who helps Reeves to try and desperately stop disaster from happening. She gives a very good performance and this is her breakthrough role. She also gives very eye-catchy one-liners, and also provides the best humour.
The direction from de Bont is excellent because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect from start to finish, while the script is terrifically written by Graham Yost as he makes the film very easy to follow.
The technical elements of the film are really impressive, with the camera doing an excellent job, filming sections of the movie extremely well, most notably, of course, with all the scenes involving the very fast bus and the sound is so impressive from start to finish. This is one film that you have to listen to very carefully. Also, the editing of the film is done to an excellent standard, so the technical elements are really, really good.
The movie managed to win two Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, while it received a nomination for Best Film Editing.
The movie also managed to win two British Academy Film Awards, for Best Editing and Best Sound and it definitely deserved those awards.
Overall, Speed is a very tense thriller which is packed with plenty of action to keep you right on the edge-of-your-seat. The performances from Reeves, Hopper and the funny Bullock are terrific. Jan de Bont’s directorial debut could not have got off a better start. Very well filmed with amazing camerawork, sound and editing, it’s one film you will have to hold on very tight from start to finish.