After catching an old episode of Family Matters the other day and rewatching Speed last night, a dark and insidious question came over me: Did Speed rip off Family Matters??
We all know the plot of the wildly popular 1994 action thriller Speed starring Keanu Reeves:
But I feel like a lot of people forget about a suspiciously similar plot of a 1991 episode of Family Matters. Here’s the synopsis of “Boom!” the Season 3 premiere of Family Matters.
Urkel befriends Lowell, an orangutan who has been abused through a series of laboratory experiments. At the precinct, Carl is exercising on a treadmill when he discovers it has been booby-trapped by a revenge seeker; the bomb hidden inside will go off should he step off the treadmill. He must rely on Lt. Murtaugh – and a little bit of luck – to disconnect the bomb’s wiring before it explodes.
Just watch this clip from Family Matters and tell me this isn’t the exact plot of Speed, except on a treadmill.
Compare that to the focal point of Speed:
I mean that looks pretty damn close to me. My wife told me to do some research before slandering the good name of Speed, but I mean come on. I tried to do a little digging to see what the rest of the internet thought, but it seems nobody is asking the tough questions. All I got from my Google search was a story about Eddie Winslow getting arrested for failing to pay child support.
I am merely here to ask thought provoking questions and let you come to your own conclusions, but if you ask me Speed 100% ripped off Family Matters. Reginald VelJohnson put up with too much shit on Family Matters to not get the credit he deserves for indirectly creating one of the biggest blockbusters in movie history.
With that being said, Speed is still one of the most rewatchable action movies ever made despite just how dumb it truly is. Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels, and Sandra Bullock are all great, but I am a Keanu Reeves stan and he is in the middle of a HEATER here. Just a decade plus of dominance starting with Bill & Ted in ’89, Point Break in ’91, Speed in ’94, The Devil’s Advocate (with Pacino!) in ’97, my favorite movie of all-time The Matrix in ’99, The Replacements in ’00, and Hardball in ’01. Keanu has always been a stoic, sometimes mistaken for stilted, actor which is why he absolutely kills it in some roles (Neo) and whiffs on others (Dracula) before landing a career defining role in yet another blockbuster action franchise, John Wick.
Did I just turn a blog accusing a movie of plagiarizing Family Matters into a Keanu Reeves stan session? I guess I did.
PS – Heres how the episode of Family Matters ended in case you weren’t watching it at 9 am on a weekday like me.