Speed

Plot hole: If Jack can speed the train up at the end, why does he not try to slow it down? Even if it can't be stopped completely, using the speed lever to reduce it to the minimum possible would be a sensible course of action. There is nothing to suggest he wouldn't be able to do this as he is able to increase the speed without any trouble. If there was something to show that slowing down the train would be unworkable it would make sense, but seems to more serve as a plot device.

Plot hole: When they get Sam the driver off the bus and onto the trailer, it's stressed how important it is to get him to hospital, but in all subsequent scenes, the trailer never leaves the side of the bus and no-one takes Sam off.

GalahadFairlight

Plot hole: After the bus passengers are rescued and removed from danger, why would the police take Annie back into danger by taking her from the airport to downtown LA to watch the attempted arrest of the bomber at Pershing Square? Why bring a civilian along?

Plot hole: Payne's finger prints would've been all over the elevator, on his shotgun, and near the area where he killed the security guard as he was never shown wearing gloves. Since he was a former police officer, I would assume his prints would've been on file with the FBI and in a multitude of databases. You would think they would've been able to identify him much earlier in the movie than they did by running the prints through all databases of finger prints.

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Suggested correction: IAFIS, the FBI fingerprint database, wasn't implemented until 1999. At the time this film was released, the LA police would have to individually run any prints found through the databases they wanted to search. Essentially, they would have to know beforehand that Howard Payne was a former Atlanta police officer or have made a wild guess.

BaconIsMyBFF

Plot hole: During the course of the movie Payne and Jack have been talking on the phone for a considerable amount of time yet there is no effort made by the police to track Payne's signal while he is talking.

Plot hole: The police thought they could catch the bomber at the ransom drop because he did not know that the bus had exploded. However, the exploding bus would have created a huge plume of smoke that would have been reported by the media. (01:30:00)

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Suggested correction: The news reporters at the airport had been blocked by the Police from reporting. Reporters that weren't at the airport would see a cloud of smoke but wouldn't know what was causing it.

Plot hole: It is never definitively stated if the bomb is tied directly to the axle, triggered by the speedometer instrumentation or throttle. Regardless, as long as the wheels keep spinning above 50mph the bomb will not explode by design. This means that if you lifted the wheels of the bus off the ground or you bottom out, you could keep accelerating without any speed at all. This could be accomplished in any number of ways. One example would be driving on grass and keeping the tires spinning.

StevensPointWI

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Suggested correction: And that would accomplish precisely nothing. They know Payne is watching them and he explicitly stated no-one is allowed to get off the bus or he will detonate it, only making an exception for the injured driver. What good is finding a way to keep the wheels in motion if everyone is still stuck on the bus?

Phaneron Premium member

The mistake is suggesting that you basically find a way to stop the bus but keep the wheels spinning such as grounding it on a hill. Then while the bus is stationary, just (I'm assuming here) put a weight on the accelerator to keep the wheels spinning and then everyone just hop off and walk away. However, you're correct in that Howard is watching the live feed so would just blow the bomb when people got off.

Ssiscool Premium member

I fully understood what the entry was suggesting, but Payne's demand that everyone stays on the bus under penalty of detonation voids it. Even if that wasn't the case, finding a way to somehow stop the bus but keeping the wheels spinning (such as lifting it with a helicopter) would be a logistical nightmare in that scenario. Their plans to drive on the otherwise unoccupied freeway and then circle the airport runway were much more practical.

Phaneron Premium member

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

More mistakes in Speed

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

More quotes from Speed

Trivia: The famous "Dukes of Hazzard" sequence was the filmmakers' wry commentary on the uncompleted state of Interstate 105, which had become a running joke among LA motorists. It was finally (and quite uncoincidentally) completed in late 1993 shortly before the film's release, years behind schedule.

More trivia for Speed

Question: When they notice there's a gap in the freeway they keep to that route. However, there were other routes available. Why not take them?

Answer: If they had, there might have been the possibility that to get to these routes they would have to go down a different road and depending on which route they take they might have to slow down to make the turn which would likely cause the bus to drop below 50 mph. Better to just keep going straight and keep the bus going. There's also the possibility that had they taken a different route, they would have to deal with a lot of traffic especially if there was traffic stopped at a red light. By using the highway, there'd be no traffic lights and less traffic to deal with.

More questions & answers from Speed

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