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STUDIO: Millennium Media
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
It’s Fast and Furious with planes and Nick Carter!
Written and directed by Kim Bass, starring Andrew Keegan, Brandon Quinn, and Nick Carter.
Strayger and his band of fly-boys run a lucrative drug smuggling business. Some Mexican cartels and the DIA are on their ass, but that doesn’t stop the boys from partying and cracking wise at 300mph! Also, Nick Carter might secretly be the greatest actor of all time.
The name of the movie is Kill Speed. As in achieving a speed so fast you die from it. The DVD cover has a plane zooming over a muscle car driving away from an explosion that’s spitting cop cars into the air. My blood pressure is through the roof just writing this! Tom Arnold and Nick Carter are billed as the top actors in it, for chrissakes!
So does Kill Speed deliver on its impossible promise of being the greatest movie ever made (why else would all of that junk be on the cover)? No, but it’s still pretty damn entertaining. It’s basically a low-budget Fast and Furious with planes and instead of Ludacris there’s Tom Arnold. The drug smuggling plot is a bit convoluted and there are some useless characters, but writer/director Kim Bass did a great job making a DTV action movie with limited resources.
Attractive pilot Strayger (Andrew Keegan) heads up a lucrative side business smuggling drugs in between the U.S. and Mexico. His partners in crime are Rainman and Foreman. Rainman is played by Brandon Quinn, who I’m not familiar with, but I think he’s supposed to be the Michelle Rodriguez of the group. Foreman is played by Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and ho-lee shit…I could write 20 paragraphs about how mind-blowing his performance is. No sarcasm, he’s honestly the weirdest actor ever. He plays the Tyrese comic-relief character.
The DIA (not the DEA) is closing in on Strayger’s crew while the drug game is increasingly getting heated. Robert Patrick is the President and he breaks the fourth wall during a press conference. Mexican cartels are feuding and Strayger is stuck in the middle. I think. Honestly it was hard to focus when Nick Carter wasn’t on the screen. DIA agents, led by that chubby guy from Heroes, get tortured and fly planes too…I dunno. Somewhere in all of this Strayger falls for a mysterious woman named Rosanna. His boys warn him not to get too close to her (what with the drug smuggling business and all), but Strayger insists on letting Rosanna into his cockpit.
Where’s Tom Arnold in all of this? He dies in the first two minutes! He plays a meth cook who’s shacked up in a trailer with some slimy girl who begs to give him head. I genuinely like Tom Arnold in movies. I think he was at his best in Exit Wounds playing the scuzzy yet lovable goofball alongside Steven Seagal. Although, everyone’s at their best co-starring with Seagal. Needless to say I was pretty bummed to see Tom go in the first few minutes of Kill Speed. Who could fill this gaping void?
Nick Fucking Carter, that’s who! I’ve never seen this song-and-dance man in a film before but he’s destined for DTV Valhalla if he keeps this up. Every time he came on screen I slid off my couch and floated closer to the television. After his very first line in the film – “Your momma’s late, bitch!” – I had forgotten about the loss of Tom Arnold. His dialogue is atrocious, but his delivery redeems any shoddy writing.
Earlier I called his acting “weird” and I really can’t think of a better word to describe it. He’s not particularly good but he doesn’t seem to be trying either. He just kinda wiggles around the screen and pushes words out of his mouth. “I don’t need to be in this movie, I’ve got that Backstreet Boys money, bitch!” seems to be his attitude. And somehow it makes him utterly watchable.
His dialogue, written by director Kim Bass, sounds like what a sheltered white person thinks black people talk like. That’s why I was shocked to find out that not only is Kim Bass black (and not a girl), but he used to write for In Living Color – one of the most groundbreaking Afrocentric shows in television history. How did he go from that to writing piss-poor dialogue about “macking honeys” and “stealing cheddar” – for Nick Carter?! I have a hunch in the script that Foreman was originally black, but Nick Carter came cheap. Maybe the Foreman character is supposed to be a statement on white people stealing black culture. That would explain why the story doesn’t end well for Foreman. I get it now.
I don’t want to continue splitting hairs about dialogue though. This is Kill Speed, goddammit! And Kill Speed‘s DVD cover promises hot plane-on-plane violence! They knock that department outta the park – and then set fire to the park. The aerial action scenes are terrific and have a great sense of geography. You can tell where everyone is because that chubby guy from Heroes is constantly checking his radar. In a lot of action movies, they usually just show quick flashes of planes zooming by to give the illusion of (KILL!) speed. Kill Speed has these great wide shots that let you soak in the chase. Hats off to aerial stunt coordinator Skip Holm, who also worked on Hot Shots! and Jarhead.
Strayger starts off as a womanizing jerkoff but as the movie progresses we’re supposed to feel sympathy for him. There’s an awkward moment in a cemetery when he’s crying over a grave. I thought it was Nick Carter’s grave because he had died moments before and I would be crying too, but it’s Strayger’s dad’s grave. His old man was a test pilot who died flying. Strayger’s a jerk and his father probably was too, so who cares? Andrew Keegan is pretty underwhelming as an actor and fails to carry the movie. They should have gotten someone else to play the lead (Nick Carter).
Then there’s Rainman, that fucking guy. I can’t remember a single thing he did or said in the movie – his character is completely useless. All I remember is that Strayger puts Rainman in charge of finances because Foreman is shitty with money. The chubby guy from Heroes’ character is pretty worthless too. He’s in charge of the DIA but all I remember him doing is asking for someone to “bring up the radar” a bunch of times.
If Kim Bass had shaved off some of the extraneous characters and just focused on making Strayger more interesting, Kill Speed would be a better movie. Get rid of the knuckleheads and bring Strayger and Nick Carter to the foreground. Make it all about them. Their friendship. Their struggles. Their hijinks. Revive Nick Carter’s character from the dead and make Kill Speed II: Kill Faster. Please.
There are no special features, but some footage plays over the credits of the cast getting flown around, trying not to barf. So there’s that.
Rating: Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars