Pssst, want to check out Speed in our new look?
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Speed is probably the best Die Hard clone ever made. The high-concept idea for a hostage trap is fresh and they get a lot of mileage (heh) out of it. The problems to make it the worst situation ever, and our heroes are clever and daring in their solutions. So while I do like the elevator prologue that sets most of the characters up, the last act train ride is surplus to requirements. It feels like the true climax is Jack and Annie finally escaping the bus, and the rest is merely a plot necessity, except the best is all behind us. And still, all the actors are great in this. It was a star-making role for Sandra Bullock who immediately captures out attention. Keanu Reeves is as cocky here as he was in Point Break but more pleasant. Jeff Daniels makes me wish he'd done more action flicks, and Joe Morton plays a police captain that ISN'T an obstructionist (which is fresh in and of itself!). And of course, there's Dennis Hopper being Dennis Hopper and it's highly entertaining, man! As for director Jan de Bont, he builds the tension very well and even gives the film a visual beauty that could be cousin to Bigelow, Besson or Hong Kong. De Bont was always a better cinematographer than director (he filmed Die Hard, not coincidentally), but here everything falls into place to create a literal thrill ride.
This is the most intense action movie I ever seen. No doubt about that.
As I was watching this, seriously, I got curse words coming out of my mouth already and I not even halfway of the movie yet.
Pretty awesome for a 16 year-old movie.
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #11 in Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z
This movie ranks #33 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #99 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
This movie ranks #364 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #393 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
This movie ranks #451 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #841 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #855 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #865 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown