We kick off a brand new regular series of ranking articles, by finally making a definitive ruling on the Speed franchise.

Chums, we’ve had the consultants in. Aware that our policy of resisting clickbait and not padding out articles to try and fox the Google algorithm means that the clicks are a bit harder to come by, expert advice was sought.

What could we possibly do?

Well, the advice was expensive and adamant. We need to start playing the game.

It’s with a heavy heart, therefore, that the ‘ranking’ anything that moves bandwagon has been jumped on firmly here at Film Stories. That’s what the internet wants, we were informed, and as such, that’s what the internet is going to get. As such, here’s the first in an irregular series of articles where we definitely rank popular film franchise in order of their quality.

Our posh consultants have also recommended we split this article over multiple pages requiring several clicks to read it all. Guttingly, we couldn’t get our technology to do that in time. Next time, though.

Anyway: we’re starting with the action-packed Speed franchise, which after a quick minute on Google we worked out nobody else had done for some reason. As such, without further ado, in order of quality, here’s how we sorted them out…

1       Speed (1994)

It’s easy to forget that barely anybody saw Speed coming. The movie that helped make a star of Keanu Reeves (again), that ushered in a trend for short haircuts, that helped fuel Sandra Bullock’s career and temporarily made Jan De Bont one of Hollywood’s most in-demand directors was originally earmarked for an off-peak release. After test screening successes, though, Fox opted to move it a high summer release, and a global franchise was born. It’d take a piss-poor second movie to stop this franchise in its tracks.

We actually did a podcast episode on Speed here, and on deep reflection, it remains the finest of the films in this particular series. It thus fights its way to the top spot and claims the prize.

That’s its reward for being so fast and furious. Notably – and in a moment of foreshadowing as to where things would go wrong in the future – the middle third of the film (where a bus can’t drop below 50mph) makes good on the title.

We think it’s the highlight of the boxset, primarily because in contrast to those that followed, it is both excellent and not terrible. Which leads us onto…

2       Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) 

After deep thought, we are declaring this the weakest of the Speed movies. We’ve forensically looked at the film and concluded that Speed 2: Cruise Control makes the fatal mistake of being absolutely shit.

This time, Keanu Reeves opted not to return to the role of Jack Traven, and Jason Patric signed up instead to lead the film. Sandra Bullock does her damnedest (and used her return to the series as leverage to persuade Fox to fund a different movie that she wanted to make). But whereas Speed was fast, Speed 2 – directed by the less-in-demand-after-this Jan De Bont – is slow. Don’t worry about Jan, though. The Haunting was just around the corner for him.

Anyway: as many finer people that us have pointed out, Cruise Control is a subtitle that hardly suggests pace. We’ve always admired just how honest the title is, though. Honestly: studios are damned when they hype things to the nth degree, and damned when they then give you an indication of just how slow their movie is. They can’t win.

Still, Speed 2 is the runner-up, and we look forward to healthy debates in the comments, as our expensive consultant promised would follow. People, we’re assured, will be very thankful for our definitive ruling on such complicated matters.

Don’t tell said consultants though that in truth, this wasn’t a particularly tricky set of movies to rank. We’d set aside hours, and instead found we could knock off early. Everybody wins, right?

Which brings us to the end of this maiden article in the series.

Next time, we’ll be taking a look at the Sister Act films. See you then!

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