Mat DeKinder: “Kill Speed” is a movie that chronicles the perils of trafficking drugs using twin-engine planes that are constantly and incorrectly billed as “high-tech.”
Brian Byrne: And what a cast! I do believe this film stars THAT Nick Carter, Joshua Alba (officially Jessica Alba’s brother), Goldberg, Robert Patrick, and the guy who played the chunky cop in “Heroes.”
Mat: The star of this little gem is Andrew Keegan, who is best known for playing the jerk in “10 Things I Hate About You.” This only proves that he lost out to Joseph Gordon-Levitt in more ways than one. The movie even starts off with Tom Arnold showing up and playing a semi-competent meth cook. When Tom Arnold is the sober, responsible one in any situation, things are going badly.
Brian: Arnold also gets to say the line “I want you to put on some clothes” for the first time ever in his entire life.
Mat: It all culminates in a clunky gunfight which drives home the point that if you can’t shoot Tom Arnold in a ten-foot-wide trailer, you should probably have your guns taken away.
Brian: President Robert Patrick!?! You bet your ass. The T-1000 is now our Cyborg in Chief, and I for one welcome our futuristic killing machine overlords. So between the “Nobama” drawing scrawled on the outside of Tom Arnold’s Meth Wagon and the fact that Robert Patrick is president, and the fact that this was made in 2011, I’m detecting some barely veiled Republican wish-fulfillment happening in this movie.
Mat: So Carter (who spends the whole movie channeling the dude from the “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” video), Keegan and Brandon Quinn play our drug mules with hearts of gold who call themselves, and I’m not kidding, The Fly Guys.
Brian: Like The Fry Guys from the old McDonald’s ads, only with 50-pound bags of weapons-grade narcotics instead of artery-clogging French Fries. You know, for kids! So. We see our boys get in a scrape with the law while being pursued by the “DIA” (in reference to the U.S. drug agency, presumably so the DEA won’t… sue them?) resulting in truly the most deeply pointless dogfight ever committed to film. Unarmed planes everywhere! The most exciting thing that happens is the guy in the back seat of the pursuing DIA jet never allows the action to prevent him from eating his hamburger.
Mat: Apparently DIA jet pilots have less power than municipal police.
Brian: Or mall security. The pilot has to point sternly at the ground since his plane is unarmed and has literally no other means of offense. The dogfight is eventually called off due to low fuel in the government plane. As well as generalized pointlessness.
Mat: The Fly Guys head back to their base and we have to endure a large swath of plot where an undercover DIA agent Rosanna (Natalia Cigliuti) seduces her way into Keegan’s heart.
Brian: They meet at one of those well-lit raves in an aircraft hangar. You know the kind where they keep the music nice and low so you can hear them talk.
Mat: The only thing I took away from this scene: DO NOT EAT THE SUSHI AT A HANGAR PARTY!
Brian: At this point, it becomes clear this movie forgot its Ritalin. This movie does so, so much of that “teleporting” cut, where someone’s walking along and all of a sudden they’re like two feet in front of where they started. Also featured: a lot of tight shots of hands manipulating switches. Also, I’m pretty sure the soundtrack is courtesy of the director’s brother.
Mat: Basically all of the actors start to embrace the philosophy of “I can’t say these terrible lines fast enough!!!!” But really this movie isn’t half bad if you ignore all the dialogue.
Brian: And most of the facial expressions.
Mat: Eventually with Rosanna’s help the DIA move in on The Fly Guys, leading to the highlight of the movie: Nick Carter’s fiery death when his plane explodes from a single 9mm gunshot.
Brian: God, that was wonderful. Nick Carter made literally hundreds of dollars by appearing in this movie, and his flaming red cap is an image that will make me smile on my deathbed.
Mat: So then we get another air chase that ends harmlessly when the DIA jet once again runs out of gas, all while the co-pilot continues to eat a hamburger. Can the Federal Government not keep its jets fully fueled? God damn you sequestration.
Brian: The DIA eventually rounds up Keegan and Quinn and agrees they will drop the charges against them if they go rescue an imprisoned DIA agent from the head of a Mexican Drug cartel. Apparently, our villain was trained by the Cuban air force, which I’m pretty sure is just Raoul Castro in a Cessna, casually lobbing pipe bombs at whoever happens to be in the area.
Mat: Keegan pulls off the rescue against an army of guys who were looking for day labor and instead got cast in this movie.
Brian: I think the really interesting thing about these movies is the variety of extras, and what they’re called upon to do. You’ll recall the way, in “Titanic II,” they consisted entirely of people who happened to be hanging out on Santa Monica pier the day “Titanic II” was filmed. They were then expected to throw themselves back and forth inside a Radisson Inn, and then put small amounts of stage blood on their fifth-best outfits. Cast as foot soldiers of a Mexican drug cartel, the extras of “Kill Speed” are pretty transparently just the guys at the work exchange who had a full head of teeth and have been instructed to perpetuate some deeply disappointing stereotypes of Latinos in film. Anyway. Back to the chase!
Mat: So Keegan winds up flying an actual armed jet pursued by the drug lord in another actually armed jet, leading to an actual dog fight over Arizona. And yes: The drug dealer flies his jet into US airspace, which brings up the question of whether maybe someone could call, I don’t know, THE AIR FORCE?
Brian: The which force? Oh, them. They ran out of fuel months ago.
Mat: In the end, all’s well that ends well, with Nick Carter a roasted corpse, and Keegan getting the girl and flying missions for the DIA with Hamburger Guy.
Brian: Jesus is pretty great and all, but Hamburger Guy is my co-pilot.