Kill Speed (2010)

Robert Patrick cameos in a flashy high-octane aero-thriller from Kim Bass. Kaleidoscope UK R0 DVD.

The Film

A trio of hotshot young pilots fund their Hollywood lifestyles by transporting crystal meth from Mexico into California for drug baron Escondido. They are being monitored by the FBI but their flying skills help them to avoid detection, until the US President (Robert Patrick) authorises them to take action to take any action they can to help bring back a DEA agenct captured by the baron and the Flyguyz find themselves recruited...

Written by the director Kim Bass, Kill Speed is aeroplane porn with a loose story wrapped around; much as the Fast and the Furious films did for street racing, so this film looks to ultra-glamourise the world of general aviation pilots and smuggling. The storyline is basic but generally effective, with enough characterisation and plot to keep the film moving while allowing lengthy flying and action scenes - a couple of the characters are obviously aimed at the intended youthful demographic and are likely to prove annoying to some viewers - Foreman (played by former boyband star Nick Carter) speaks only in urban slang while 'Einstein' who is an obsessive computer-geek speaks only in techno-slang, although fortunately the main characters avoid such traits.

As expected, pacing is generally brisk for the most part, although it slows down a little in the final third - there are a couple of unexpected twists but the climax and conclusion are a little predictable. The most interesting aspect however is that while most similar films have the protagonists carrying out low level criminal activity, or "cool" crimes like bank robbery, the pilots here are engaged in the rather 'real criminal' activity of smuggling meth into the country. The opening scene does go some way to showing the damaging effects of the product on its users and the realisation of the harmful effects are noted later in the storyline, although the film as a whole avoids any preaching.

Behind the camera, Bass really goes fetishist with his enjoyment of the flying scenes - these are the highlight of the film and aided immeasurably by the fact that the actors are actually filmed in the planes and not just using rear-projection. The only let down with these sequences is a completely unnecessary CGI'ed plane chase through downtown Los Angeles which feels completely out of place. Direction otherwise is perfectly solid, suitably modern in style but avoiding the over-edited excesses of many similar films. The music is actually rather more subtle than might be anticipated and works well with the film, rather than over-the-top.

The main cast are all young American actors with mostly television work in their backgrounds and performances are as good as you can expect in this sort of film. Former Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter plays the slang spouting Foreman and he is believable, even if the character is pretty annoying. DTV veteran Robert Patrick (Terminator II (1994)) has a wonderful cameo as the US President in a few film stealing scenes but despite billing on most DVD covers, former WCW wrestler Bill Goldberg seems completely wasted in a literally split-second appearance as a biker.

To dub it Fast and the Furious with planes might seem rather easy, but it is the most apt description of Kill Speed, mimicking that film's super-smooth criminals, detail obsessed cinematography and fast paced storyline. Although lacking the exploitation elements that might have made it a worthy cult film, Kill Speed makes a decent time filler and fans of fast paced action films should enjoy this.

In Brief
Anyone famous in it? Robert Patrick - a brief appearance for this modern cult-star, best known for Terminator II (1994).
Directed by anyone interesting? Kim Bass - best known for his work in television, creating the popular American family shows Sister, Sister (1994-1999) and Kenan & Kel (1996-2000) he has also directed low budget horror Junkyard Dog (2010)
Any gore or violence ? Some blood, nothing gory.
Any sex or nudity? None
Who is it for? Fans of fast paced action films in the Fast & Furious mould should enjoy this.

Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colour.
The digital print receives a flawless transfer.
Audio English 5.1 and 2.0 - both sound clear.
Subtitles None.
Extras None.
Region Region 0 (ALL) - PAL
Other regions? Available in the US on an identical disc. Blu-ray release in the Netherlands.
Cuts? Believed to be fully uncut. Print language is English.



All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 17th June 2013.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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