Considered to be one of the Best Action Movies of the 1990s, Speed arrived in theaters on June 10, 1994 and thrilled audiences everywhere. It told the story of a LAPD officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) who’s tasked with preventing a city bus from blowing up, only thing is that the bus can’t drop below 50 MPH! The movie was exciting, fast-paced and perfect popcorn entertainment. So, with the film being 25 years old, let’s countdown the 5 Best Moments from Speed!
#5 – Elevator Bomb Scare
Every good action movie always starts with a great opening! In the beginning the bomber (Dennis Hopper) plants several bombs on an elevator in a building. Passengers are held hostage by the bomber and the LAPD don’t have a lot of time to gather the ransom money together. Jack and his partner Harry (Jeff Daniels) decide to investigate for themselves.
The bomber realizes they are breaking the rules and sets off the explosives to show he means business. What ensues is a daring rescue attempt in order to save the hostages, fight with the bomber and survive a bomb exploding in the process. Not before seeing the police car fly through the air as a perfect shot of foreshadowing that lies ahead. It’s exciting, captures our attention and makes way for an exciting second half!
#4 – Chasing The Bus
After the elevator bombing turns out to be unsuccessful, Jack witnesses a city bus explode. After a brief phone call, the bomber reveals to Jack that another bus has a bomb onboard. “There’s a bomb on a bus.” Jack finds out where the bus is and races across Los Angeles to find it in hopes of stopping it before it reaches the speed that will arm the bomb.
Racing through the streets of L.A., onto the expressway, to even making the jump is yet another moment that is hard not to watch. Of course, Tune Man didn’t anticipate having the morning he ends up having!
#3 – Police Escort
Once the LAPD are notified of the situation, Jack and Captain Mac (Joe Morton) co-ordinate together to try to get the bus off the city streets and out of danger to the public. With the police offering escort, it’s not a simple drive. The bomb is already armed and the bus must remain traveling over 50 MPH and traffic is picking up!
After making an extreme right turn, the bus manages to merge onto the 105 freeway which is not in use. Director Jan De Bont, delivers exceptional suspense when handling this sequence. It’s fantastic to watch as it is intense!
#2 – Jumping The Gap
After traveling on the 105 freeway and realizing that passengers can’t simply get off the bus, it’s revealed that the freeway is missing a critical piece of the road! A section is missing and Jack has no choice but to jump the gap in the hopes of keeping everyone alive.
The musical score by Mark Mancina is very intense here as is the suspense leading up to the jump. Admittingly, Director Jan De Bont did confirm that the bus did hit an incline to make that jump successful, but regardless the idea of the jump is amazing and adds another level of sheer thrills!
#1 – Final Confrontation
With all the passengers being rescued and the bus being destroyed, the bomber thinks he’s won until he finds out the truth that he’s been tricked. He takes Annie (Sandra Bullock) hostage and with the ransom money in hand, Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) makes his getaway on a moving train with Jack not far behind!
After the train conductor is killed, the train picks up speed and is out of control. After a fight with Payne, Jack attempts to stop the train but realizes that the track isn’t finished and the only way to survive is just to go faster and make the jump at the end of the track. The ending is intense, satisfying and a great way to end an incredible action film.