Ahh... the high concept movie pitch. What would modern cinema be like without it? You can almost picture writer Graham Yost pitching this to the Fox executives can't you? 'Well, there's this bus driving around Los Angeles you see. But, it's no ordinary bus... there's a bomb on it and if the speed of the bus drop beneath 50mph then the bomb will explode killing all the passengers inside!'. It's a simple, efficient story full of tension and things blowing up in glorious technicolour that probably took about 12 seconds to be green-lit once the studio heads finished listening to the pitch. Add to the mix Keanu Reeves as the L.A.P.D. S.W.A.T. team specialist trying to diffuse the bomb, Sandra Bullock as the plucky innocent driving the bus and Dennis Hopper as the eye-rolling loon behind the whole terrible scheme and you have the ingredients of a premiere piece of action escapism. The end result in fact is almost good enough to forgive Jan de Bont's subsequent transgressions Speed 2: Cruise Control, Twister and The Haunting. Almost.
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