Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
After becoming a hero, cop Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) has to board a bus and make sure it does not go below 50 miles an hour or it will explode after it is rigged by presumed dead bomber and extortionist Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper), who is holding it to ransom. But with the driver (Hawthorne James) wounded, it is up to passenger Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) to drive it in a frantic journey through Los Angeles.
From start to finish this film is a no-holds, adrenaline fuelled ride. The bus's journey is made so by consistently sharp editing, that shows it to be going as fast as possible, from all kinds of neat shots - from overhead shots from the Police Helicopter to shots of the wheels whizzing down the road - an exhilarating feel which is greatly heightened by the fast, at times gritty soundtrack. We are drawn into this story thanks to its tenseness and exhilarating feel, and with each complication added to the situation that the characters find themselves in we find ourselves on the edge of our seats, as a nagging sense that it may end badly is built up, even though we ultimately know all will work out, we are just drawn in so much.
Ultimately though, the film's stars do an equally good job of drawing us in. Reeves gives an adrenaline fuelled, action packed performance as Jack, giving the character great determination and motivation, and also making him a very level headed and realistic cop. Bullock remains cool as Annie, neither overstating her fear, nor understating it. Hopper, however, is the most memorable, making Payne a very cold hearted and sadistic, almost psychopathic, antagonist, a role he plays skilfully, as he doesn't overexaggerate and make Payne a borderline cartoon villain, and his deliciously cold performance really snares the viewer. Combined with the adrenaline and action, the actors really make this a gripping film, and with these main elements, among others combined this is most definetly a film to watch on the edge of your seat, and one of the stronger films of 1994.
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton, Richard Lineback, Alan Ruck, Margaret Medina, Hawthorne James, Beth Grant, Glenn Plummer.
Oscars: Best Sound Editing (Stephen Hunter Flick), Best Sound Mixing (Steve Maslow, Bob Beemer, Gregg Landaker, David MacMillan).
Oscar nomination: Best Editing (John Wright).