449. The Taking of Pelham 123

Background info

449-the-taking-of-pelham-123Title: The Taking of Pelham 123
Director: Tony Scott
Year: 2009
Run time: 1hr 46m

“Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is a New York City subway dispatcher whose ordinary day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. Ryder (John Travolta), the criminal mastermind behind the hijacking and leader of a highly-armed gang of four, threatens to execute the train’s passengers unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As the tension mounts beneath his feet, Garber employs his vast knowledge of the subway system in a battle to outwit Ryder and save the hostages. But there’s one riddle Garber can’t solve: even if the thieves get the money, how can they possibly escape?”

Live blog

1:33 – Good intro music. Got 99 problems…
2:14 – I love the huge board of pretty lights on a railway control centre thing.
8:59 – He noticed they’d stopped really quickly. All those trains to keep an eye on, doesn’t miss a beat.
14:00 – Shoot first, ask questions later.
16:17 – “What is he, an accountant?”
20:56 – New York is one of the all time bureaucracies.
24:03 – How can you not get excited about coincidence? It’s incredible!
27:32 – Love the hostage negotiator, “do you mind if I take your seat?” all calm and keeping the peace.
32:02 – I’m using that. Excuse for not knowing things, well, I’m very busy.
39:54 – “This 80s skateboard thing going on, he makes it work.”
48:54 – That was the crash course in hostage negotiation? It lasted a minute, if that!
54:08 – Like the overhead map, could use that in more films.
59:50 – They don’t seem to have done a very good job closing all these roads.
1:09:24 – Was being judgemental of the “goodbye” phone call but the milk thing was good.
1:11:59 – “If we’d anticipated this, we could have made a lot of money…” Sad realisation.
1:23:50 – Ooh, it’s all gone a little bit Speed.
1:37:58 – Gave him his life back but also… now he has to get over that.

Conclusions

There haven’t been many new films out that have whet our appetite so we delved into the archives for this one. A Tony Scott film with Denzel Washington? How have I not seen this already?

It was a good film, strong story, reasonably interesting characters and good direction. I did think it lacked something – emotion or real hardcore empathy with either the good guy or the bad guy, and it was predictable in places. Other times it was less so.

There are reviews that dislike the film because it’s not as good as the original, or a carbon copy of the 1974 version. We haven’t seen that one, so there’s no downside on that front for us. An entertaining film but not as good as the other train one directed by Scott.

Rating: 3/5

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