Speed Kills joins Backtrace in a January UK premiere which stars Matthew Modine in a film which has received stinking ratings on IMDB, but then so did Allure and Dark Crimes, and both of those films were great! So how does this one fare?
In the opening scene, I thought John Travolta – as speedboat racing champion Ben Aronoff – was talking to Larry Drake (Darkman, Dr Giggles), but it can’t be, as he sadly died in 2016… would you believe it’s actually Tom Sizemore? Jeez, what happened to him?!
However, he finds that when you’re in hock to drug lords, you can bite off more than you can chew. Then it rewinds 25 years to 1962, where… Travolta looks no different, since these days, he looks like he’s been propped up with polyfilla.
This really is so incredibly tedious. Travolta tries to look mean and moody, even when his son is put in the hospital, but just ends up looking constipated. He had a great career comeback in the ’90s with A Civil Action, Primary Colors, Face/Off and, of course, Pulp Fiction – a film I could watch a million times and never get bored, but in the past ten years it’s been junk like this, I Am Wrath or the remake of The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three.
Perhaps Travolta should cash-in like Harvey Keitel, and rehash his Pulp Fiction character for a ton of cheesy insurance adverts? Clearly, Tarantino doesn’t object to having his characters ruined. Okay, so, Vincent Vega isn’t exactly feeling his most healthy as the closing credits roll, but then consecutiveness was never that film’s strong point 😉
As a film, Speed Kills comes across more as a series of individual, disconnected scenes rather than a film as a whole. One minute, he’s the speedboat king, then he’s being shouted at by organised crime boss Meyer Lansky (James Remar – the Dad in Dexter), and so on. Who will triumph and who will suffer a bullet-ridden death? I promise you won’t care.
Even in a speedboat scene in choppy water, almost an hour into the proceedings, I’ve seen better CGI in a hand-drawn Tom and Jerry cartoon(!)
Watching this, I didn’t hate it… but about the only point of interest in this film is when Mr Modine pops up as warmonger George Bush Sr, and that’s only for a brief scene. still, it’s more interesting than anything he does during Backtrace.
NOTE: This review is for the film only.
Running time: 88 minutes
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Director: Jodi Scurfield
Producers: Oscar Generale, Richard Rionda Del Castro, Luillo Ruiz
Screenplay: David Aaron Cohen, John Luessenhop
Story: David Aaron Cohen, John Luessenhop, Paul Castro
Novel: Arthur J Harris
Music: Geronimo Mercado
Ben Aronoff: John Travolta
Emily Gowen: Katheryn Winnick
Katherine Aronoff: Jennifer Esposito
Shelly Katz: Michael Weston
Jules Bergman: Jordi Molla
Agent Lopez: Amaury Nolasco
George Bush: Matthew Modine
Meyer Lansky: James Remar
Robbie Reemer: Kellan Lutz
Andrew Aronoff: Charlie Gillespie
Contessa: Moran Atias
Dwayne Franklin: Tom Sizemore
Knocky House: Mike Massa
Panama: Luis Da Silva Jr
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.