Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I click on the name of actress Kelli Dawn Hancock who is featured in this movie ‘Exit Speed’. A lovely woman with a spectacular set of lips on her and one actress who we do hope gets more roles, and soon. Mainly because we’d like to see her character of ‘Crack Whore #1’ that she played on an episode of ‘The Sarah Silverman Show’ get pushed further down on her filmography. I suppose being the #1 Crack Whore is better than being relegated to the #2, #3 or #4 Crack Whore but we here at the FCU would just like to see that eventually expunged from the woman’s record is all. Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with this movie ‘Exit Speed’ which was more entertaining than it had any right to be.

Dateline Texas. Sgt. Archie Sparks (Fred Ward), sort of the army equivalent a Lt. Phillip Gerard has finally caught up with AWOL army soldier Meredith Cole (Julie Mond), kind of like the Army’s version Richard Kimble and without a doubt one of the top five most adorable army enlisted men ever. Private Benjamin thinks this girl is too cute to be in the army. But Archie turns his back on this woman for just a second and there she goes off and running again.

Private Cole has found herself on a bus in Somewhere Texas on her way to El Paso along with an eclectic group of passengers all geared up for an uneventful ride, that is until our bus driver passes a group of psycho bikers, one of whom he accidentally runs over though it wasn’t his fault in the least. Here is where I am going to mention that actor Desmond Harrington gets top billing in this movie and I’m not too certain who exactly Desmond Harrington is. I’m thinking that he’s our rather heroic looking clear blue-eyed bus driver since we did spend a little bit of time following the dude around and getting to know him a bit. Uh…. Nope, I don’t think he’s Desmond Harrington.

So now our surviving members of the Greyhound Bus Tour include our super cute soldier who has taken a bullet to the gut, Maudie the saucy single mom (Lea Thompson), Sam the moody wayward dad (Harrington), Desiree the tough sista (Hancock), her extremely skittish boyfriend Duke (Nick Sowell), Jerry the football coach with some serious anger management issues (Gregory Jbara), Annabelle the vegan Elfin play warrior who happens to be a competitive archer and finally Ramon (Everett Sifuentes) our McGyver-esque Spanish language speaking handy man. This rather diverse group have found themselves holed up in a make shift bunker, with one gun to their name, and surrounded by a group of maniacal blood thirty incredibly violent rogue bikers… with more on the way and no help in sight. You would think an odd collection of women and skittish dudes wouldn’t stand a chance against a group of violently insane bikers. I tell you what, it’s a good thing for those punk bikers that they got reinforcements on the way because they’re gonna need ‘em.

While recognizing that director Scott Ziehl’s ‘Exit Speed’ had an issue here and there, this was still a very entertaining movie. When it started with it’s folksy music and the small town setting and the escaping cutie pie this looked like it was going to be one of those small town based independent relationship type films. You know, the ones we all hate but pretend to like so we won’t look like callous Neanderthals? But by the time the first dude catches a .45 caliber to center of his dome… it became clear this ain’t that kind of movie. Despite the rather sunny brightly lit cinematography in this movie, it’s one of the more violent, more brutal action flicks I’ve seen in some time. Folks get run over by busses, shot in the head… a few times… dudes get their throats slit, suffocated, fire bombed, faces get blown off and plenty of intestinal organs get spilled over sandy earth. Outstanding.

Now there are some issues that plague ‘Exit Speed’ a bit, in that most of the characters in our little bloody violent action flick are caricatures of real people placed in the script simply because it conveniently keeps things moving or explains things simply, such as the tough sista who ‘dated a biker’ and as such is a veritable PhD of bikerology. Julie Mond does seem to be a little too cute and feminine to be the hard ass soldier that they want us to believe she is, though the girl almost pulls it off. Our heroes also have pretty severe cases of ‘admiring the kill’ disease which occurs after you’ve just killed one of a horde of bad guys and nod heroically towards your brethren and kind of look up in the sky so the sun can shine down on your heroic bad dude killing badassness completely oblivious to the fact that there are a bunch more evil dudes out there with guns, one of whom will invariably shoot you while you look heroically into the sky. I also think that Ziehl could have given the legendary Fred Ward a little bit more to do.

But we’re just nitpicking with ‘Exit Speed’ about that stuff because this was really a surprisingly well made, well paced and crazy violent flick with plenty of over-the-top action that entertained me completely. Can’t go wrong with that my friends.

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