The Taking of Pelham 123 is a remake of a 1974 movie of the same name but as seen through the eyes of the director of Domino, Tony Scott, and I can see a little of that style in this movie. The thing is the direction is just a little toned down when compared to Domino. Besides the intro to the film with it’s quick cut editing to the tone of Jay -Z’s 99 problems and and interesting take on Google 3D maps, there is not much else to talk about when it comes to Scott. So, most of the weight of this film is held on the shoulders of its actors and we have 2 summer heavy weights in on this wild ride.
First off, we have Denzel Washington who plays Walter Garber, a transit worker who has been recently accused of taking a bribe of 30,000 dollars for his recommendation to the New York Transit authority of a company’s new line of subway trains. This little scandal lands Garber on the dispatch desk and into a redeeming situation to save the lives of hostages that have just been taken by a man going by the name Ryder. Ryder played by John Travolta is demanding 10 million dollars and one cent, that he kindly offers up to Garber as a brokers commission, the cent is for Garber but the millions are for the safe return of the subway car and all the passengers inside.
Both actors take to their roles well, in a movie that I thought would have Denzel channeling Alonzo from Training Day and allow the actor to let his spit fly and screams echo through the theater, I must say my predictions were wrong. Denzel plays Garber as a mild and compassionate character and takes me back to the actor I loved in preceding movies. Travolta is also good in this going back to his evil days in Face/Off, it was nice to see Travolta’s bad side again. He added his witty convincing dialog to create an evil but likable character. Even supporting actors like James Gandolfini, who plays the unpopular adulterating mayor give good performances. I must also say its roles like this and his performance in Last Castle that make me realize that James is not just Tony Soprano, hes a good actor.
So, you must be telling yourself O.K., the actors were good the director was descent this might be a good movie and I felt the same way as I sat though it. My expectations were very low going in and and I did suspend belief when cop cars were wrecking into other cars just for action value as they speed to get the money to Mr. Ryder. The problem I have with this was the end, the movie moved along at a pace where you expect a big ending or a twist and Pelham just can not deliver. I won’t give anything away but, I walked out of the theater unsatisfied and I felt like I was on an a good roller-coaster ride that at the end just coasted back into the station.
I have to give Pelham 2 “Denzels running funny” out of 5
by Ryan Davis