It’s funny how films of the same type get released so closely together. Maybe it’s a Hollywood studio thing, but it happens. In 1994 the type of film that got released was the “mad bomber” type. The two films were Speed and Blown Away.
In Blown Away a mad bomber is on the loose in Boston where he seeks revenge. Tommy Lee Jones who carries an Irish accent plays the mad bomber. The person he seeks revenge against is a police officer, who not to our surprise, is in the bomb disposal unit and is played by Jeff Bridges.
Blown Away is completely implausible, the major thing drawing to this implausibility is: How the heck does Tommy Lee Jones' character have time to create so many intricate bombs? There’s a bomb in a computer in MIT’s computer lab, a bomb in a set of earphones, a bomb on a boat, and wait, a bomb in a car. There are a few other bombs also.
The difference between the bomb Blown Away and the hit Speed is in the title. Blown Away is slow and Speed is fast. And though Speed was just as implausible as Blown Away, the film was just fun to watch and it moved along at a quick brisk pace that allowed the audience to forget about the implausibility and concentrate on the fun. Blown Away tries to fill in the time between the blasts with back-stories and human interest. The back-stories include the motivation for the Tommy Lee Jones character and the human interest includes Bridges new wife.
Had director Stephen Hopkins cut down Blown Away’s running time and tighten up the script a bit, it might have been a fun movie to watch. Hopkins does have the eye for tension; my favorite scene was the one in which Bridge’s new wife and child are in the kitchen cooking dinner.
Blown Away lost in 1994 and for good reason, this film is implausible but on top of that it slow. If you’re looking for a good mad bomber movie to see go rent Speed. If you want to see a bomb, see Blown Away.