Speed

Character mistake: There is no way on earth that a police officer would shoot a hostage in the thigh to 'take them out of the equation'. Anyone who suggested such a thing would likely be taken out and shot themselves. Bullet wounds to the thigh are often fatal, as an injury to the femoral artery causes massive and frequently unstoppable blood loss. Breaking the femur often leads to fat embolisms as bone marrow gets into the bloodstream and then to the lungs. In fact a broken femur is a life threatening injury in itself, and a shattered femur - a typical bullet injury - would almost always result in a total amputation. You cannot aim carefully enough to avoid the bone or artery as their position in the body varies, (as will the bullet trajectory upon impact). Jack is an experienced cop and would know the potentially disastrous consequences of shooting someone in the thigh. He'd shoot him in the foot.

14
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Suggested correction: Jack is a cop and as such he would have extensive training in first aid, including treating bullet wounds. He would know perfectly well that shooting someone in the thigh was almost certain to cause a life threatening injury. He would shoot him in the foot.

13

Jack and Harry aren't just "cops," they're elite members of S.W.A.T., meaning they employ "special weapons and tactics." The hostage shooting is extreme, in any case; but the film wanted to quickly portray Jack as unorthodox and a bit of a loose cannon.

Charles Austin Miller

And as an "an elite member of S.W.A.T." Jack would be even more aware of the fact that a bullet wound to the thigh would probably kill or permanently disable his partner. I am not questioning the plot line of showing Jack to be a renegade by having him shoot a hostage, I am simply stating the obvious. He absolutely would not shoot him in the thigh.

11

And, yet, obviously, he did.

Charles Austin Miller

No, he didn't. An actor fired a blank round at another actor and a special effects technician detonated a blood squib that had been installed under the second actor's costume, thus creating a fictional representation of logically absurd situation. It's a plot hole.

12

Then the entire movie is a plot hole. Speaking factually, you could just as easily say that a random passenger could never drive a commercial bus at highway speeds and make 175-foot ramp jumps with it. And, yet, there it is, and that's the story the producers wanted to tell. Call it a factual error, certainly, but the films are doing precisely what the screenwriters and director intended.

Charles Austin Miller

Except for blatant continuity errors, your comment negates every posting on this site. It's a mistake, plain and simple, lazy screenwriting, sloppy plotting, factually inaccurate. The original posting is valid, this is not a chatroom and I have nothing else to say on the matter.

13

Precisely. That's what makes it a character mistake, per the rules of this site.

2

Tailkinker and CA Miller are correct. This is a character mistake in an over the top action thriller. In real life cops don't shoot hostages in the thigh but buses don't fly over gaps in bridges either. If you can't watch Speed with a willing suspension of disbelief then it's not the movie for you. Enjoying fantasy action with its flaws does not validate mistakes in other movies and claiming it is lazy writing etc just makes a mistake picker seem uptight.

Suggested correction: It's made abundantly clear that shooting hostages is NOT something that they're trained to do - Jack merely suggests it during one of their 'pop quiz' exchanges; Harry's incredulous reaction should be more than enough to indicate that this is not standard operating procedure.

Tailkinker Premium member

Character mistake: At the airport, when Jack is under the bus on the trolley being towed by the truck, an accident causes all the cable on the winch reel to pay out. At this point all that's holding the cable to the reel is a small metal clamp. Jack slews around under the bus for a while, in grave danger of being run over by the vehicle's rear wheels, and then the clamp gives way (in slow motion). The now-free cable shoots toward the bus, and Jack pulls himself off the trolley just as it goes under the rear wheel. If you look at the shot where the cable is flying toward the bus, you can see two SWAT guys standing on the back of the truck, on either side of the winch. Their posture is completely relaxed and casual. Considering that for the past several seconds, Jack has been sliding around under the bus, fighting for his life, wouldn't the SWAT guys be much more excited--moving around, trying to get a better look, giving instructions to the truck's driver?

rbryant73
13

Character mistake: When Jack introduces Annie to his boss after the explosion at the airport he calls him Lieutenant McMahon but when the credits come up at the end of the film he is named as Captain McMahon.

5

Continuity mistake: Early in the film, Jack shoots Harry through the left thigh (taking the hostage out of the equation). At the police awards ceremony, Harry is using a cane on his right side and his limp favors his right leg. After the ceremony, in the bar, when Harry gets drunk and starts to leave, he's using his cane on the left side and his limp favors his left leg.

Charles Austin Miller
More mistakes in Speed

Swat Cop: Anything else that'll keep this elevator from falling?
Jack: Yeah. The basement.

More quotes from Speed

Trivia: When the bus crashes into the plane at the end, the company logo on the plane is "Pacific Courier." This fictional company name also appears in "Die Hard"--it's on the truck the terrorists show up in (except Karl and Theo, who arrive by car). Jan de Bont, who directed "Speed," was DP on "Die Hard."

rbryant73
More trivia for Speed

Question: How would you get on the roof of a moving subway? We don't see it in the movie (Jack looks up and starts to climb - cut - Jack is on the roof.... Howard cries 'I'm coming for you Jack and runs - cut - Howard is behind Jack on the roof. after the fight when Howard 'lost his head' - cut - Jack is inside the subway again...).

Answer: Ventilation shafts or roof panels.

Toolio
More questions & answers from Speed

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