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Monday, June 16, 2014


My Favourite Movies: Unstoppable

Will (played excellently by Chris Pine) is having a really bad first day on the job. Being the new guy, being young and being related to one of the bosses doesn’t help his integration into the new team of hard living and soon to be unemployed railwaymen in Pennsylvania. On top of that the restraining order put in place by his wife has been extended a further 30 days which means he’ll be sleeping on his brothers couch for a while longer yet. The driver of the train isn’t really helping. With only 25 days left to serve, Frank (played always superbly by Denzel Washington) isn’t allowing him any slack whatsoever. But things only become really tense when Will accidently hooks up a few extra trucks to the load being pulled and puts their lives in danger when they need to make an emergency diversion to avoid a runaway train. Determined to do something to stop the runaway crashing into a highly populated area Will and Frank give chase in their locomotive. Going against Company orders but aided by the local sector controller Connie (played impressively by Rosario Dawson) they literally must race against time to save thousands of lives – including Will’s wife and child.

This is a very simple film full of clichés. Hard working, simple folk working long hours for little pay and less recognition face down the ‘Company’ who are only interested in the bottom line (and avoiding litigation) in order to save other hard working folks in danger by simply being in the wrong place. Two heroes, both with troubled lives and troubled relationships who decide to do what’s right – rather than what’s expedient or what they are told to do – thereby saving the day, bonding and saving their relationships at home. You get my drift. It is very easy to be massively cynical about this film and just regard it as a slice of typical Hollywood cheese – and you’d be dead wrong.

This film is well acted, very well directed by Tony Scott (of Top Gun, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, Déjà vu and Pelham 123 fame), well-paced, has great cinematography, is honestly gripping and above all else highly entertaining in ways that most movies simply aren’t these days. This is simple, straight forward storytelling based on a true incident told in an exciting way – even when you’re aware of the outcome. This won’t exactly tax your brain in any way whatsoever but that can be a good thing! Kick off your shoes, unplug your phone, have a drink and snack to hand and just relax with 94 minutes of tension and mayhem. It’s a blast from beginning to end. Enjoy!        

4 comments:

smellincoffee said...

An American film set on a train? That's something that's not been seen in many a decade!

I just saw Pine in "Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit" last night. I've only read the one Jack Ryan book, but this was a reboot of his character. He joins the Marines after the WTC bombings, and eventually discovers a plot by the Russians to undermine the American economy. It's a workable mix of new-terrorism plots meets US vs USSR Clancy stuff.

The main reason I watched it was for Pine, of course. He's the new Matt Damon now that Damon is verging on middle-aged!

CyberKitten said...

sc said: An American film set on a train? That's something that's not been seen in many a decade!

...and there's Source Code. That was (mostly) set on a train - kind of....

sc said: The main reason I watched it was for Pine, of course. He's the new Matt Damon now that Damon is verging on middle-aged!

He was OK in this though I really didn't like his Capt Kirk... [shudder]

dbackdad said...

I liked Unstoppable quite a bit, and own it. Pine and Washington ooze charisma and fit well together. And I've always liked Scott's visual style.

My wife's uncle (a set designer) worked with the late Tony Scott and his brother Ridley. They were producers of the show he was working on at the time, Numbers. He liked both of them.

CyberKitten said...

dbackdad said: Pine and Washington ooze charisma and fit well together.

Yes, I thought that they worked very well together.

dbackdad said: And I've always liked Scott's visual style.

It's unique isn't it.This wasn't quite as radical as in Man on Fire but still had a very impressive style to it.