There are several people who should be remembered for their contribution to Speed, and The Incredible Suit is pleased to give them a 'shout out' or a 'big up' or whatever the kids call it these days.
Graham Yost, WriterSpeed's story structure is flawless. Mildly exciting lift sequence, pause for coffee, heart-attack-inducingly thrilling and clinically constructed second act, pause to collect ransom, silly but gripping final act on train, kiss, the end. And there are just the right amount of quiet, emotional beats at just the right times so you don't get worn out.
Also, "Yeah... well I'm taller": genius.
Graham Yost has written nothing as good, before or since.
Jan de Bont, DirectorDe Bont sensibly doesn't worry too much about his actors - there's only so much you can get Keanu Reeves to do - and instead keeps his story constantly moving, like a shark. On a bus. There are almost no static shots in 116 minutes and - along with the zippy editing - it's what keeps the film from going below 50 and exploding.
De Bont also brought along some of the lens flares he had left over from when he was cinematographer on Die Hard. Sadly lens flares are now an endangered species since JJ Abrams depleted the global supply with Star Trek, but it was worth it.
Jan de Bont has directed nothing as good, before or since.
Mark Mancina, Score ComposerSpeed's score is classic action film music. Its stabbing motif and rolling percussion are perfect accompaniments to the on-screen mayhem, and its softer moments accurately judged for the soppy bits. Sometimes it strays too far into '80s electronica, and Billy Idol over the end credits is unforgivable, but I'm assuming Mancina wasn't responsible for that.
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