Flashy, yet trashy, Kill Speed is as generic as its meaningless title implies. It so wants to be another shit-goes-fast blockbuster like The Fast and the Furious, which gets name-checked in a roundabout way, but on a small budget. I believe such a thing is not impossible. One just has to do what writer/director Kim Bass has not: Use likable characters.
Instead, we have Ten Things I Hate About You’s Andrew Keegan, the poor man’s Eric Balfour, as Strayger, who leads a handful of righteous dudes who converse only in frat-speak, dropping phrases like “my bad,” “bro,” “yo,” and “that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout” — all whether they’re happy, sad, angry or anywhere in between.
They are, as Bass’ script details in ridiculously expository fashion, “a group of young, hotshot, experimental airplane pilots known as The Fly Guyz. … From what we can ascertain, they’re a group of full-time party boys who fund their live-fast, die-hard, fun-in-the-sun, rock-star’ lifestyle by moving crystal meth across the desert in what are essentially hopped-up, high-tech plastic planes.”
Yes, Guyz with a “z.” I automatically hated them.
And there’s your good chunk of the plot, until a nasty turn of events forces Strayger to stray to the strong arm of the law for a covert mission. Kill Speed smartly pumps high production values into aviation scenes that put you right in the cockpit with the actors as they fly up to 300 mph, yet these are ruined by music-video editing and a rock score reminiscent of ’80s beer ads.
Adding insult to injury, Kill Speed casts former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter as one of The Fly Guyz. Not only can he predictably not act, but he insists on doing so in a nails-on-chalkboard, faux-urban dialect that will have viewers praying for his character’s demise. Just a sample: “How come you never trust the F-Man widda cheddar? Whassup wit dat?”
A waste of two hours, that’s what. —Rod Lott