Denzel Washington and Tony Scott join forces again for the fifth time to make an action film that lives up to its title. Unstoppable is the non-stop action ride you’re expecting from the duo, with all the explosions, chase scenes, sexy ladies made to appear as “regular” every day women, with one attractive, new-comer to pull in the young-bloods. I think there’s almost no doubt that this film will in fact be unstoppable at the box office.
That being said, does it live up to all the expectations? Find out now…
- Director: Tony Scott (read interview)
- Writer: Mark Bomback
- Actors: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson (read cast interview)
- Original Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
- Cinematography by: Ben Seresin
Unstoppable is the story about an old veteran train conductor (Washington) who’s about to become the victim of company lay offs due to cutbacks. Pine plays the newbie to the crew, who all the old guys hate because he’s been hired to take their jobs away. The pair are forced into a life or death situation when they have to divert a runaway train carrying a shipment of toxic chemicals headed straight towards them, schools, children, horses, cows, and anything else Scott could come up with for a train to destroy.
- Denzel: However silly a plot line may be or a character written – he has a way of bringing them to life and adding that charisma that always makes you like him despite what’s going on in the film.
- Action Sequences: If there’s one thing Tony Scott knows how to do, it’s action – which is off for such a soft spoken Englishman. He does a great job at building tension and shooting action scenes in ways that we haven’t seen before.
- The Pace: If there is one thing this film isn’t lacking it’s speed. From the moment it starts the film sets a fast pace keeps it going until after the credits finish. From the fast paced camera movements, to the real life speeding train, this film is literally a non-stop action-ride that won’t stop even if you want it to.
- The Story: Why is it that they only ever try any solution once? Give it a few chances before you throw it out the window! In the end they wind up saving the day with the first idea they had but it takes them SOOOO long to finally do it. It doesn’t really make sense as to why they had to wait and why it takes a guy with a huge truck and a handle-bar mustache to pull it all off.
- The Cliches: There was just one cliche after another, from the corporate guys playing golf to the hard-working older guy with a wife who has just died. There is nothing new in this film at all aside from the fact that this time they’re on a train instead of a subway car, a bus or in a car.
- Substance: The actors did their best to bring a sense of heart to the characters they played, but it’s hard to see past the non-stop action, and manipulative, emotional setups to really engage with them and their experience.
- No Real Danger: Because we’ve seen this film so many times before, despite the fact that they came up with some twists, there was nothing new about this film so from the moment we meet our characters we know they’re going to make it to the end and therefore never really worry about the dying in the 50 different ways Tony Scott has laid before them. Without them being fallible we can’t engage in their story.
- Watch for the badger that crosses the tracks right before the train hits the horse trailer. It not only shows how fast the train is really going, but it’s also something you can tell probably slipped into the shot my accident but is one of those perfect blunders. The badger gives one hell of a performance to boot.
- In the scene when Chris Pine’s character appears to be getting pelleted by “rocks” they actually used sugar coated cereal which all the local deer would clean up nightly for the crew.
So yes, this film did live up to expectations, it’s yet another Tony Scott action film through and through. It’s got one long chase seen from start to finish and that’s probably the best part about it. I noticed people around me enjoying the film far more than I, which leads me to wonder if this is just not the right film for me. If you like Tony Scott and all his past films and don’t feel like renting Domino, Days of Thunder, True Romance (probably his best film), Spy Game (not a bad one), or The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 you’ll probably love this — it’s exactly what you’ve some to love, nothing more and nothing less.
Unstoppable in theaters November 12th!