Usually, when director's of photography make the leap into the directing seat, disaster ensues. Its usually not through lack of their visual talent or ability to craft sequences and shots that can go side by side in a solid fashion, instead the burden falls on their inability to steer blissful performances and have an actual pulse that runs through the film. So when extremely talented DOP, Jan De Bont, who's credits include Die Hard and The Hunt For Red October, decided to make his directorial debut, you can imagine the surprise and awe viewers had when witnessing Speed, a fast paced and extremely fun action roller coaster ride, lead by a famous faced cast, which literally blew everyone off their seats. Speed follows the story of Jack Traven and his partner Harry, LA's finest, who are called into a hostage situation when a bomb leaves an elevator full of people hanging by a thread. The couple thwart the charismatic terrorist, Howard Payne, who in turn is left for dead, or so they think... A few days later Payne creates a new plan, one that involves a moving bus and city carnage, forcing Jack and Harry to finish what they started. When you strip Speed down to its bare bones, there are hilarious strands of plot, which force you to suspend disbelief to such an unfathomable level, that if any other film had tried it, we'd laugh it off the screen. Speed however has a brilliant core idea for an action movie and instead of plod along, it thunders through its run time at a galloping pace and never once slows down, while still managing to be as engaging as a film about a speeding bus can be. The script is utterly laughable, firing off cheese ridden lines at every junction and delivered hilariously by every actor signed up, however everything works, Speed doesnt try to take itself too seriously, meaning that when these machismo lines are uttered, we are able to forgive their absurdity and enjoy them for what they are. Much like the tremendous amounts of plot holes that litter the entire film, there are far too many to list, however because De Bont thunders forward, keeping the attention on the problems at hand, rather than the bigger picture, you cannot help but be riveted by what is going on. From the moment Speed fires up its opening titles it revs up to 100 miles per hour and does not stop until the credits, the fact that De Bont is able to achieve such a feat and never have it feel boring, is testament to his talents as an action director, sure the characters are all over the place and the dialogue is atrocious but the fact we care about what we are watching regardless, says more about the film than any review could. The film isnt close to perfect at all, the cast of characters are ham fisted, the dialogue is clunky, the film could be completely dissected and rendered redundant if you stop and think about it, Keanu Reeves is slightly wooden, Jeff Daniels is under utilized, Sandra Bullock is cookie and unbelievably adaptable to the situation at hand and Dennis Hopper has clearly plucked his bad guy from the book of 90's bad guys, however I challenge anyone not to have fun with this film. Most impressive and the films super power is its action sequences, the entire film practically, but everything, minus the smallest amount of digital effect work, is filmed in camera, cars explode and are demolished on the LA freeway, Keanu Reeves dangles under a bus, passengers attempt a high speed escape, planes explode, trains destroy entire subways, lifts demolish the bottom floors of buildings, its all completely ludicrous but utterly enjoyable. De Bont crafts a blindingly high paced action movie that is fun to watch, you are willing to forgive some outlandish flaws, its not a cinematic masterpiece but the fact the famed DOP achieves this feat, its essential viewing from a time when action movies were fun and CGI was not littered over everything.