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.

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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

Speed mistake picture

Revealing mistake: If you look at the missing part of the bridge, and look at the shadow underneath, the shadow is of a full bridge. (01:02:35)

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Suggested correction: This might be correct, but it depends on the sun's position. If the sun is to the far left of the shot, the gap in the shadow would appear somewhere far to the right of where the actual gap is.

Nice try. Look at the shadows of the bridge trestles and those on the small brown building to the right of the photo. The sun is to the left of the bridge, and the shadow is exactly what you would expect to see if the bridge was complete - which it was, by the way. The "gap" is CGI.

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

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.

Trivia: In this movie the only reason why Howard Payne is trying to blow the elevator and the buses is because he wants money. He also gets very upset when the paint explodes in the bag. If you look on the back of bus 2525 there's a green sign that says "Money isn't everything (Yeah Right)".

ShooterMcGavin34

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

Howard Payne: See, I'm in charge here! I drop this stick, and they pick your friend here up with a sponge! Are you ready to die, friend?
Harry: Fuck you!
Howard Payne: Oh! In two hundred years we've gone from "I regret but I have one life to give for my country" to "Fuck you!"?

Jack: You're crazy! You're fuckin' crazy!
Howard Payne: NO! Poor people are crazy, Jack. I'm eccentric.

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

More quotes from Speed

Question: When Jack is fighting on the roof of the train,he makes the quip "yeah..but I'm taller" just before the other guys head is knocked off. What does he mean by this? He was laying down at the time, height doesn't come into it.

Answer: He's taller now because he has his head while the villain does not!

Grumpy Scot

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.

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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