Friday, November 12, 2010

Box Office Review - Unstoppable

There are a group of directors who no matter what I enjoy their films. Tony Scott is one of them. In the late 80s he established what an epic action movie should be. Michael Bay took a page out of his book, and then beat the concept to death throughout the 90s and 00s. Fortunately Tony Scott is still doing his thing and whether or not you are a fan you have to admit Scott does what he does very well. Unstoppable is classic Tony Scott. Everything from the look, story, and characters is what a fan would expect from Mr. Scott. The result of this combined with the greatness of trains is one of the best theater going experiences of the year.

There isn't much that is unique about Unstoppable and this is no way a bad thing. The film features two blue colour workers who have to save the day. Denzel Washington plays a world weary veteran train operator. Chris Pine plays a cocky first day on the job train operator who is being trained by Washington. After a series of mistakes a unmanned train carrying dangerous chemicals is unleashed onto the railroad tracks of Pennsylvania and it is up to the two train operators to stop it. Along the way we meet the rail yard manager played by Rosario Dawson who is coordinating everything behind the scenes, and the outsider who is helping her played by Kevin Corrigan. Together the four hatch a plan to prevent the derailment of the train and the resulting destruction. All the actors are good in their roles, and even though there isn't much space for character development the actors are able to craft interesting relationships between each other.

While this film isn't unique it is told so well that it feels fresh. It has been a while since the main heroes in an action film have been just regular people. They have to be heroic not because they have super powers, but because if they don't do anything no one else will. These types of characters haven't been used much in the 00s as the everyman hero is something that seems to have become passe. That is a shame as the everyman hero is something that is to me pure cinema.

Tony Scott is in top form with Unstoppable. The movie has a great deal of suspense and excitement. This from a movie about a runaway vehicle that can only move one of two ways, backwards or forwards. The way the camera moves while focusing on the train really conveys what an amazing force a speeding train is. Unstoppable is 100% excitement and I was riveted the entire time.

A Gold Banana

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