Movie maths: Weighing up the values in Speed


18th October 2012

Having recently sat through Speed – the greatest action film that isn't Die Hard or stars Nicolas Cage – again for hundredth time, I finally realised what's been bugging me about it for all these years. Basically... um... was it all worth it? But really though?

It is, of course, impossible to know what events would ensue in a movie had a particular character taken a different set of actions. And yet, it seems to me that, once Jack decides to board the bus in Speed, the death and destruction that occurs may not entirely outweigh the alternative option. Namely: just letting the bus passengers die in a fiery ball of flames.

Let's consider the evidence:

Now, I'm not putting a price on human life. But, if I was, I'd probably think it comparable to the millions of dollars it would cost in reparations to the city and the hundreds of vehicles and structures destroyed when you let a speeding juggernaut rampage on the highway.

This isn't even mentioning the man hours spent on on police work and resources involved. Or the paperwork. God, think of the paperwork.

And, of course, there's the greatest price of all: Speed 2: Cruise Control.

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