Mark Wahlberg’s New Movie Is What The Sequel To Keanu Reeves’ 95% Rotten Tomatoes Hit Should’ve Been

July 7, 2024 - Movies


  • Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming thriller shares story beats with Keanu Reeves’ 1994 film Speed, potentially making it a spiritual sequel.
  • Unlike Speed 2, Flight Risk has the right ingredients to be a successful sequel, with a confined setting, rapid pace, and high stakes.
  • Unlike Speed 2’s villain, who lacked believable motives, Mark Wahlberg’s villain in Flight Risk seems to have a stronger purpose, potentially making the film more compelling.

Mark Wahlberg‘s upcoming film seems like a better follow-up to an acclaimed Keanu Reeves movie than its original critically panned sequel. After last appearing in Arthur the King, Mark Wahlberg is all set to return to his action roots by starring in a gripping thriller. However, even though this new film might seem like it is right up his alley, it features him in a completely different avatar, which could potentially change how audiences perceive him as an actor.

Interestingly, his upcoming film also seems to share many story beats with a 30-year-old Keanu Reeves movie that still boasts an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 95%. The Reeves film was so successful when it premiered in 1994 that it spawned a sequel after its release. Unfortunately, the sequel was not even half as good as the original film. Owing to its parallels with the Keanu Reeves film, Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming movie can be considered somewhat of a spiritual sequel.


Every Upcoming Keanu Reeves Movie & TV Show

Keanu Reeves continues to be one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, as he has numerous movies (like John Wick 5) and one series in the works.

Flight Risk Can Be A Better Follow-Up To Speed Than Speed 2

Unlike Speed 2, Flight Risk Has All The Right Ingredients To Be Speed’s Sequel

In 1994’s Speed, Keanu Reeves portrays LAPD Swat officer Jack Traven, who has to race against time and prevent a bomb inside a city bus from exploding before it is too late. The man who plants the bomb ensures it explodes if the bus’ speed goes below 50 mph, which explains the movie’s title. Speed‘s sequel, titled Speed 2: Cruise Control, attempted to recreate a similar scenario on a cruise ship. However, it fails to add the core ingredient that made the first film so successful: speed.

Like 1994’s
Flight Risk
‘s setting is confined, moves at a rapid pace, and maintains incredibly high stakes.

Compared to the first film’s bus, the second movie’s cruise liner moves too slowly to be able to match the white-knuckling thrill its predecessor generated. Even its setting is way too big compared to the first Speed‘s bus, diluting the sense of confinement and urgency that drives Keanu Reeves’ character in the original film. Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming film Flight Risk, however, seems to have all the elements that made the first Speed movie a hit among viewers and critics.

Flight Risk follows a pilot who flies an Air Marshall and a fugitive to a pre-determined location. Tensions rise when the pilot turns out to be a hitman whose job is to kill the fugitive before the flight lands. As Flight Risk‘s trailer reveals, the Air Marshall eventually overpowers the pilot, but neither she nor the fugitive knows how to fly the aircraft. Like 1994’s Speed, Flight Risk‘s setting is confined, moves at a rapid pace, and maintains incredibly high stakes. Not to mention, even the heroes in both Flight Risk and Speedcan neither abandon the central vehicle nor stop it.

Speed 2 Wasted Its Villain, But Flight Risk Will Probably Not

Willen Dafoe’s Speed 2 Villain Lacked Believable Motives

Image via Liongate

Speed 2 features Willem Dafoe as its main villain but fails to fully utilize his talent. Dafoe is known for perfectly embodying chilling villain characters like Green Goblin in Spider-Man and Thomas Wake in The Lighthouse. However, his character in Speed 2 is not compelling enough because he is driven by a nonsensical objective. He only hijacks the central ship to exact revenge on his former employers.

Mark Wahlberg’s villain in Flight Risk, in contrast, seemingly has a stronger purpose because he is a hired gun, likely recruited by a powerful criminal faction or individual with a clear, menacing motive. While only time will tell whether Mel Gibson’s Flight Risk will be as memorable as Speed, the Mel Gibson movie‘s trailer promises that Mark Wahlberg will deliver an intense performance as an antagonist. Hopefully, Flight Risk will find its place among highly acclaimed thrillers like Keanu ReevesSpeed instead of being disappointing like Speed 2: Cruise Control.

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