Thursday, November 25, 2010

Unstoppable [2010]

Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn, Ethan Suplee, Lew Temple
Genre: Action/Thriller
Rating: General
Comment: "Unstoppable action. Pun intended..."

A word of advice, don't be so quick on drawing comparisons between this film and the fourth collaboration between Tony Scott and Denzel Washington, The Taking of Pelham 123 [2009]. While they both involve trains and the same lead actor, that is where the similarities end. Also, you would be pleased to know that Unstoppable is based on true events and it is surprisingly accurate for a Hollywood movie.

Taking place in Pennsylvania, what begins as a routine for everyone in a fictional railroad company turns sour when a worker seriously dropped the ball by neglecting to take necessary measures to ensure the trains will run smoothly. As a result, the company now has a runaway train going at full speed. To make matters worse, some of the cargo includes hazardous material.

Let's separate the facts and fiction first, shall we? Kindly skip this paragraph if you prefer to remember the movie the way that it is. Now, the story is indeed based on real events, famously dubbed as The Crazy Eights Incident. Circumstances surrounding the runaway train are facts, and there were indeed two other train crew who went after it in an attempt to stop it. However, liberties were taken to heighten the tension and drama although in reality, there was no casualty reported.

You can always count on Denzel Washington to give any movie an air of old-school badassery. This time around he is paired with rising star Chris "New Captain Kirk" Pine, who himself walks around with a dash of rebelliousness that is a reminisce of James Dean.

Now, I know that I've said earlier that the movie is aptly named. As a whole it is indeed true, however the movie is a little bogged down with certain details that it can do without and this affects the pace. It was a clear attempt to breathe life into the characters, making us empathise with them. But there is something about the loud and screeching action juxtaposed with sentimental that didn't balance out too well.

But that is pretty much all that is lacking in the movie. Unstoppable is a taut, gripping action/thriller that will make you flinch, wince and you'll find yourself being at the edge of your seat.

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- Good thriller
- Quite accurate
- Chemistry between actors

The Bad [-10]
- Unconvincing character development

100 - 10 = 90 points

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