Release Date: June 10th, 1994
Running Time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
Written by: Graham Yost
Directed by: Jan De Bont
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels
By: Michael “MovieBuff801″ Dennos
In his 1994 review of the film, Roger Ebert placed Speed, directed by Jan De Bont, under the category of “Bruised Forearm Movies,” i.e. movies where “you’re always grabbing the arm of the person sitting next to you.” Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to coin a similar term for describing action movies which offer endless thrills, and it’s a term which derives from my personal home viewing experience: “Chair Rocking Movies.” You see, whenever I watch a movie at home, 99% of the time, I’m sitting in a comfortably-cushioned recliner/rocking chair seated slightly to the side of a widescreen television. And for some of the really exciting movies, the ones that get me fully involved in their happenings, I start to absentmindedly rock back and forth in the chair out of excitement; Speed is such a film, despite the fact that by this point, I’ve seen it a good many times.
Speaking of terminology, “non-stop thrill ride” gets thrown around a lot these days, especially in those thirty-second TV spots promoting the newest action movie of the week, to the point where such a term has become trivial. But if ever there was a movie that phrase was made for, it’s Speed, a movie comparable to the sensation of a rollercoaster ride, driven by thrills and excitement more than anything else. The craft on display is so good, the fact that the film puts more emphasis on action than characters or story is in this case unimportant, because through the action, the story develops and the characters are still given opportunities to be compelling.