- Directors: Jan de Bont
- Producers: Mark Gordon, Ian Bryce
- Writers: Graham Yost
- Genres: Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller
- Actors: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels, Alan Ruck, Glenn Plummer
Police Officer III Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and his veteran partner Police Officer III Harry Temple (Jeff Daniels) are explosives experts in LAPD SWAT. A disgruntled Atlanta Bomb Squad retiree, Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper), is holding a group of thirteen office workers trapped in an elevator for ransom. Jack and Harry manage to rescue the hostages before Payne sends the elevator plummeting to the basement. They find Payne in a freight elevator. After a brief standoff, with Payne holding Harry hostage, Payne escapes and sets off a small explosion that knocks Jack unconscious and appears to kill Payne. Jack and Harry are then commended for their bravery by the LAPD in an official ceremony.
Later, as Jack heads to work, a city bus explodes in front of him, killing the driver. Payne calls Jack on a nearby pay phone, revealing he is alive and that he has rigged another bus to explode. The bomb will arm itself when the bus reaches 50 mph and will detonate if the bus goes below that speed. In addition, Payne will detonate the bus manually if anyone gets off the bus, or if the ransom is not delivered on time. Jack locates the bus and jumps aboard, but the bomb has already been armed.
The police plan to catch Payne picking up the ransom money, believing that he is unaware of the evacuation and destruction of the bus. However, Payne is far ahead of them. Disguised as a police officer, he kidnaps Annie off of the street, then escapes into the subway where he collects the ransom money that dropped through a cleverly concealed hole beneath the designated trash can. He boards a train, kills the operator, and wires Annie with a bomb. Jack pursues them and follows Payne onto the top of the subway car, where a fight ensues. The duel ends when Jack pushes Payne’s head into a tunnel light, decapitating him. Jack disarms Annie’s bomb but cannot stop the train, which was damaged during the fight. The train derails at the end of the line, breaking through a wall where it comes to rest on Hollywood Boulevard. Jack and Annie confess how they feel about one another and kiss as shocked pedestrians look on.