Speed (movie)

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Speed is a 1994 movie starring Keanu Reeves as Jack, cop on the bomb squad in Los Angeles. He matches wits with Dennis Hopper who wants 3.7 million dollars or he'll blow up an elevator full of hostages in a high rise building. Jack uses a crane cable he found handy to keep the elevator from slipping and rescues the hostages, and when his attempt to arrest the bad guy goes sour, shoots his partner (Jeff Daniels) in the crotch to get him clear just before the bomber laden with an explosive vest passes through a door and detonates a huge explosion.

The cops think it's over, but the bomber blows up a bus with just the driver on it the next day and reaches Jack by phone. Bus #2525 carries a bomb that will arm itself when it exceeds 50 MPH and then blow up if it goes below that speed.

The movie is a mild action thriller with plenty of macho but wooden acting from Reeves and perky cheeriness from Sandra Bullock, a passenger who must take the wheel when a frantic passenger accidentally shoots the bus driver. "No problem," she says, "It's just like driving a big Pinto."

Another bit of wry humor: the ad on the back of the bus says, "Money isn't everything".

Unrealistic scenes abound, such as driving through city traffic at speeds apparently much slower than 50 MPH, and a thrilling jump across a 50-foot gap in an incomplete highway. With nothing to make the bus go up, it should crash into the next section of highway,[1] but for dramatic purposes it makes a perfect landing on the other side.


  1. Assuming the bus can speed up to 100 feet/second, it would be in the air for 0.5 seconds. During this time it would fall according to d = 0.5 a t^2 or around 4 feet.