Single Person’s Movie: Speed

It’s 2 a.m. and you awake with a jerk, alone in your fully lit apartment and still on the couch. On TV, the credits of some movie you’ve already seen a billion times are scrolling by. It feels like rock bottom. And we know, because we’re just like you: single.

Need a movie to keep you company until you literally can’t keep your eyes open? Join us tonight when we pass out to Speed [starting @ 11 p.m. on @Max]

Why we’ll try to stay up and watch it: Pop quiz, hotshot. You have work in the morning. You could go to bed at a normal time and get a good night’s sleep. Or, you could stay up late watching Speed, one of the slickest action movies from the last 15 years. What do you do? What do you do?

Clearly, there is only one answer here. Made during the early ’90s, when putting a fresh spin on Die Hard was de rigeur for Hollywood, Speed still ranks as one of the best pure action spectacles of all time. For two hours we’re treated to nothing but explosions and chases, with the occasional one-liner tossed in for fun. Though it pains us to say it, since it sounds like a Peter Travers pull quote, Speed is literally a nonstop adrenaline rush. Jan De Bont’s film is in permanent overdrive; a hostage situation inside an elevator, which would be the climax of most action movies, here is just a prologue setting the stage for more insanity.

A pre-botoxed Keanu Reeves stars, and Speed is notable for being Sandra Bullock’s big breakout performance. But Dennis Hopper, as the Mad Hatter of terrorist bombers, steals the show. Without his maniacal over-the-top line readings, we doubt Speed would be nearly as good as it is.

When we’ll probably fall asleep: There is one problem with Speed. Given that it’s a movie about a bomb on a bus, shouldn’t it be over when the threat has been eliminated? Well that happens after 90 minutes, when the hostages are taken off said bus, and the bus explodes while crashing into a cargo plane (naturally). So while we enjoy the last act, complete with a totally unnecessary decapitation of Dennis Hopper, we won’t be awake past 12:30.

Single Person’s Movie: Speed