Speed Kills 2018 hollywood movies review

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The first 45 minutes of the amateurish based-on-a-true-story “Speed Kills” are pretty rough. Some preliminary scenes are supposed to be disorienting, but many of the movie’s creative decisions barely make sense: there are abrupt smash-cut edits, poorly choreographed and photographed motorboat racing scenes, and voiceover narration that rushes viewers through key plot points. I had to rewind a handful of key scenes—which set up reluctantly mobbed-up motorboat racer and designer Ben Aronoff (John Travolta) as the Henry Hill of Miami—just to confirm that they are as tepid and un-involving as they initially appeared. The film’s Gerber-bland back half is plenty bad, but the first half of “Speed Kills” features some of the year’s worst filmmaking.

In the film’s table-setting first scene, Aronoff’s life is threatened (by character actor Tom Sizemore, no less) before we even know what’s going on. Sizemore’s baddy says his boss wants to rent a boat, but Aronoff won’t return his boat-related calls. Why can’t he just take some money in exchange for a boat? (Meanwhile: a giant boat called “The Cigarette” looms over Sizemore.) Travolta then steps out of Aronoff’s office and says something like, Ok, Tom Sizemore, I will give your wealthy boss a boat.

Tell him to come by my office, and pick the boat out. That’s not good enough for Sizemore’s heavy, who makes some random-seeming comments about loyalty: “I’d do anything for my boss. Anything—and everything. I’d never turn my back on my boss.” Then John Travolta gets shot while pulling out of his boat store’s parking lot. After that: boom, the film flashes back 50 years, and we learn how John Travolta’s boat-having dude came to be threatened by Tom Sizemore’s boat-seeking man in Miami.

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