- Real-life bomb expert critiques unrealistic portrayal of bomb disposal techniques in Speed.
- Expert deconstructs key scenes, highlighting dangerous and improbable methods used by Keanu Reeves’ character.
- Despite inaccuracies, Speed remains a seminal work in action cinema with potential for a third installment.
The 1994 blockbuster Speed, starring Keanu Reeves as the LAPD bomb disposal officer Jack Traven, became an instant classic. However, a recent critique by a real-life bomb expert has sparked a fascinating debate on the film’s portrayal of bomb disposal techniques, revealing a chasm between Hollywood action and reality.
A recent analysis by Master EOD Technician Jay Ly, featured in a video for Insider, has brought a new perspective to the iconic scenes that many have watched with bated breath. Ly critiques several aspects of the bomb defusal techniques depicted, particularly highlighting the unrealistic and dangerous approaches taken by Reeves’ character, Jack Traven. From the improbable examination of the bomb from a moving trolley to the use of a radio near a bomb that could be triggered electronically, Ly dismantles the scene with the precision of a seasoned expert.
One of Ly’s main contentions is with the way Traven handles the bomb, suggesting that as a bomb disposal officer, he should have been equipped with better knowledge and tools to dismantle the device. The critique extends to the film’s portrayal of bomb technology, suggesting that while collapsing circuits and other technical elements are rooted in reality, their representation in the movie is far from accurate. Ly explained:
He is talking on a radio and/or phone right next to this thing. It’s electronically initiated, they don’t know if that energy will cause that device to fire or not. So that whole thing is not realistic whatsoever.
Jack, I believe he is a bomb-disposal officer with the LAPD. He should know these component-recognition things and be able to identify how this device works, or at least have a good idea of it. This definitely gets a zero, because he knows better, and he should have taken action.
Speed follows the intense ordeal of a city bus armed with a bomb that will detonate if the vehicle’s speed drops below 50 miles per hour. This premise kept audiences on the edge of their seats and solidified Reeves’ status as a rising action star. Despite the film’s significant acclaim and box office triumph, Reeves would ultimately step away from the franchise, choosing not to participate in the sequel, Speed 2: Cruise Control.
Speed continues to be revered as a seminal work in action cinema. Its influence extends far beyond its initial release, largely due to its ambitious storytelling and the riveting performances by Reeves and co-star Sandra Bullock. Speed ascended rapidly, claiming the box office crown and marking itself as Bullock’s most lucrative film until Gravity took the title in 2013, while also securing a legendary status in action cinema history.
The enduring legacy of Speed and its critical acclaim, combined with the current resurgence in Keanu Reeves’ action star status, notably through the John Wick series, has led to speculation and excitement about the potential for a third installment. With both Reeves and Bullock expressing interest in revisiting their roles and the original screenwriter Graham Yost showing enthusiasm, the stage seems set for a return to the high-speed world of Speed.
Despite Speed 2 falling short of the original’s acclaim and receiving widespread criticism, the desire for a genuine continuation of the first film persists. The blend of nostalgia and modern filmmaking could provide the perfect fuel for Speed 3 to become a reality. Despite the inaccuracies and exaggerations pointed out by experts like Ly, the original film’s impact is undeniable. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of heart-pounding action and the timeless allure of heroes like Jack Traven, who, despite their flawed methods, keep us rooting for them against all odds. As audiences and critics alike reflect on the legacy of Speed, it’s clear that its mark on cinematic history is as indelible as the tire tracks of a runaway bus.