More than just a roller coaster of a movie, Speed might be one of the most action-packed movies ever made. Director Jan de Bont carves away time-consuming story conventions, instead jumping from set piece to set piece, explosion to explosion, at a pace that makes its precursors in the action genre seem slow and ponderous. For the most part, the actors in Speed wisely settle into their one-dimensional parts. Dennis Hopper is the obligatory psycho, and Keanu Reeves, the taciturn, straight-faced hero. The film's standout performance belongs to Sandra Bullock, who gives the proceedings a massive boost: Her charming smart-aleckiness fills the lulls (however brief) between action sequences. De Bont previously made his name as a cinematographer on the elaborate, frenetic Die Hard and Lethal Weapon 3; he would go on to direct Twister and the substandard Speed 2, which also starred Bullock.
by Brendon Hanley review