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Jack Traven is a police officer working for the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT team. He is the main protagonist of the 1994 film Speed.
He is portrayed by Keanu Reeves, who also portrayed "Ted" Theodore Logan in the 1989 comedy film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, the 1991 sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and the 2020 sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music. He also played Johnny Utah in the 1991 action film Point Break, Jonathan Harker in the 1992 horror film Bram Stoker's Dracula, Johnny Mnemonic in the 1995 sci-fi film Johnny Mnemonic, Neo in the 1999 action-thriller film The Matrix, the 2003 sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and John Wick in the 2014 neo-noir action-thriller film of the same name, and it's two sequels: the 2017 John Wick: Chapter 2, and the 2019 John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum.
Following reports of a bomb going off in the elevator shafts on one of the top floors of a business building, Traven and his partner Harry Temple, arrive with other members of the SWAT team in order to deal with the situation. The bomber has demanded $3,000,000 dollars for the hostages in the elevator. Jack and Harry arrive in the shaft to examine the bombs on the brakes. Finding it to be of a professionally made bomb, they begin to wait. It's Jack's quick thinking which leads them to the roof and using a small construction crane to keep the elevator in place while they unload all the passengers. Harry lowers Jack down, while he places the hook onto the elevator. Little do they know however that the bomber is nearby, listening to them and detonates the brake bombs 3 minutes early.
Following this, both cops and reinforcements arrive to get the passengers out of the elevator before the crane gives way. Once the last passenger is out, the crane gives way and the elevator falls to the bottom floor, completely vacant. With their job done, Jack realizes that the bomber is still inside the building, despite the protest of his partner. Insistent on looking, they narrow down that he'd have to be mobile and therefore would possibly be using the elevators. Though civilian elevators were checked, the freight elevators were not and therefore, both cops found the bomber in the elevator nearby. Sneaking onto the elevator, the bomber fires at them with a shotgun, causing Harry to fall through the roof and Jack remaining on top. The bomber figures Jack isn't stupid, however he rides the elevator to the top where he would be squashed. Despite this, Jack dives into the cabin and pulls out his gun, while the bomber takes out a detonator and holds Harry hostage.
While getting off on the third floor however, Jack shoots Harry in the leg to keep the bomber from leaving with him. Despite this, the bomber leaves and an explosion sends him flying across the room, resulting in them believing the bomber committed suicide. Later, both cops are given accolades for their job and party that night until they get drunk. The next morning however, Jack is on his way to work, but finds a nearby bus explodes. Finding no survivors, Jack hears the ring of a nearby payphone and picks it up. The bomber reveals he is indeed alive and has rigged a city bus with a bomb which will be armed at 50 mph and detonate if it gets to anything slower than that number. Jack is told the number of the bus and pursues without hesitation. Warning the bus driver to stay above 50 mph and making a risky jump onto the bus, Jack tries to keep everyone calm.
One of the passengers however pulls a gun on Jack, believing he was there for him, however Jack tries to defuse the situation, however Ortiz tries taking the gun from him, only to fail and accidentally shooting the driver. Another passenger named Annie Porter takes the wheel while the others take the driver in the back and apply pressure to the wound. Jack cuffs the passenger with the gun and explains to everyone that there was a bomb onboard the bus which would explode if anyone tried to get off or if it slowed down. He contacts Harry about the news about the bomber and his current situation on the bus. They find an access hatch in the floor and Jack describes what he's seeing to Harry. The bomb was packed with a great deal of C4 and rigged with 3 separate triggers, one being a cheap gold wrist watch. While aiding Annie in driving the bus, Jack gets contacted by his boss, Lt. McMahon, who begins aiding their drive via helicopter trying to guide the bus along a hopefully survivable route.
The bus is soon escorted by police units sent in by Mac in order to get the bus to the 105 freeway, which isn't in use and totally clear. Mac spots a hard turn up ahead, which leads to Jack and Annie to believe they're going to tip over, however while during the turn, Traven has the passengers act as a counterbalance and the bus manages to stay upright and continue onward. Mac mans a flatbed truck to intercept the bus and possibly empty it, Jack explains to him that the bomber knows about it should he attempt to unload. Jack then gets a call from the bomber, merely to remind him, however after Jack convinces him to let him unload the driver, he allows Jack to go forward with it. Once the driver is unloaded, another passenger attempts to get off, only to be killed by a small explosive and fall under the tires of the bus. Despite this, the bus continues onward, however even more trouble comes as Mac gets word that the 105 isn't finished and that a 50 ft gap is in between.
Telling Jack, he plans to make the bus jump the gap and tells Annie to floor the accelerator. The bus is at a high speed and goes flying over the gap and landing on the other side with a few bumps. Once they've gotten through that, the bus ends up at the airport, where they remain for a while, until Jack gets a call from the bomber. The bomber then wants Jack to aid him in getting his money, which gives Jack the opportunity to get off and try to dismantle the bomb with Harry's help. Jack boards a mechanic's cart in an attempt to dismantle the bomb from under the bus while it is in motion and try to bypass the triggers. He finds that bypassing it will cause it to detonate, but also Harry finds out that the bomber is Howard Payne, a retired Atlanta City Police Officer who worked for the bomb squad back in the 80s and is living the L.A. Harry goes to his house, however is killed in an explosion, along with his fellow officers. Jack, who tried to dismantle the bomb, almost ends up under the tires, however stabs the gas tank with a screwdriver, keeping him from getting killed. Ortiz, however finds him and gets him back onto the bus, which is now leaking gas.
Once back on the bus, Jack gets called by Payne, who tells him Harry was killed and that the watch is what led them to him. Jack in a fit of rage and grief, goes briefly nuts until Annie calms him down. Jack then realizes that Annie was called a Wildcat, after the University of Arizona's football team: The Arizona Wildcats. Jack begins inspecting the front of the bus, finding a small, but visible camera hidden behind the mirror, leading to him to contact Mac about it. Mac soon has a news van broadcast the same signal from the camera and record it to ensure the bomber doesn't know that they're unloading the passengers. Once the passengers are unloaded, Jack and Annie rig the steering column until they get off with the floor panel and the bus begins driving, soon losing speed and colliding with a vacant airliner, detonating the bomb. With them safely off, Mac finds them and gets them to a medic for any treatment, while on their way to Pershing Square, where Payne ordered his money dropped off in a garbage can.
Jack leaves Annie with the ambulance while they get ready to nab Payne while he obtains the money. Despite this, Jack realizes that the money isn't in the can anymore and as a result, heads down into the subway where he finds Annie, now captured and wearing a vest of C4. Payne arrives in his police uniform, ordering Annie to fill the bags, then leaves with her into a subway train.
Jack follows and ends up on the roof, going up to the front. Payne hears him and offers him a bribe, however a dye pack goes off, rendering the money useless and Payne angered. He begins firing at Jack through the roof, only to go up onto the roof and fight Jack one on one. Despite his attempts, Payne is decapitated by a light fixture on the ceiling while the train moves at high speed and Jack grabs the detonator for Annie's vest off him. He finds Annie and disarms the vest, but now are stuck in a fast moving train.
In order to slow it down however, Jack speeds up the train and it goes flying off the rail and into the middle of the streets. Soon after, both Jack and Annie begin kissing each other, as well as falling for each other.
Skills & Abilities
- Genius-Level Intellect: As a cop, Jack has a keen skill for knowing the criminal mind, as well as thinking well under pressure. He demonstrated this when he found a way to save the 13 hostages in the elevator and even when getting the hostages off the bus. He even understood that even if the money was given to Payne, he was going to blow the elevator breaks anyway, as well as determining that Payne was in the building when the bombs to the emergency brakes went off.
- Weapons Expert: As a cop, Jack is trained in the use of various different weapons. This ranges from the use of sidearms and even submachine guns, however it is possible he's been trained with other weapons too.
- Hand-Hand Combat: Jack is known to have basic knowledge in hand to hand combat, which was seen in his struggle atop the roof of a train with Payne.
- Heckler & Koch MP5A3: While on SWAT detail, Jack carries a Heckler & Koch MP5A3 submachine gun, modified with various standard attachments. Such attachments include an extendable stock, as well as an underslung flashlight.
- Colt M1911A1: While in SWAT gear, Jack carries a modified black Colt M1911A1 sidearm with an underslung flashlight.
- Smith & Wesson 6904: When not in SWAT gear, Jack carries a Smith & Wesson 6904 on his person and used it throughout his job until he dropped it in the subway.