When it comes to action
movies Tony Scott is a man that knows how to deliver and
with hits like Top Gun, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Man on
Fire and Dťjŗ vu you know he is the guy who can not only
direct a great action sequence, but develop a good level of
tension. Unfortunately his latest effort, The Taking of
Pelham 123, has a weak story and is a bit too predictable.
In The Taking of Pelham 123, Walter Garber (Denzel
Washington) has been recently demoted to the position of
subway train dispatcher after he is suspected of taking a
bride. Unfortunately for him, Ryder (John Travolta) and his
cronies, one of them played wonderfully by Luis GuzmŠn, decide
to hijack one of the subway trains under Walterís watch.
Ryder is not playing games and he shows how dangerous he is
right from the start. With the assistants of a NYPD hostage
negotiator Camonetti (John Turturro) and the Mayor (James
Gandolfini) they attempt to stall for time. But why would
everybody hijack a subway train? Thatís the question that
will intrigue most of the audience.
The hijacking of the subway train was the question that most
intrigued me and I guess I was hoping for something big,
because when the question was finally answered I was a bit
disappointed. I also hate the fact that they kept referring
to Ryder as a criminal mastermind when everything he did was
just plain dump. For some reason this movie reminded me a
bit of the movie Inside Man, maybe because of Denzel, but in
that movie you have no doubt the Clive Owenís Dalton is a
criminal master mind. Likewise in Inside Man you find that
the movie is always three steps ahead of the audience, but
as for Pelham the audience is always three steps ahead of
the movie. I donít think I found one since moment
So whatís good about the movie, well the performances for
one thing. Itís been a while since Iíve since Travolta act
crazy like he did in Face/Off, Broken Arrow and Swordfish.
His performance here is just as good and intense as in those
three movies. He also manages to pulls off some of the
funnies dialog in the movie. Washington is good but Iím
getting tired of him playing the same character over and
over again. Here he plays the exact same guy he played in
his last four movies. James Gandolfini and John Turturro
also turn in good supporting performances and Luis GuzmŠn
who always plays an underdog gives it his all with what
little he is given.
For a summer movie this movie doesnít have neither much
action nor special effects. However there is one awesome car
crash near the end of the movie, but the special effects
amount to a camera panning in and out of a Google map.
Overall this movie manages to be fairly entertaining, but if
youíre looking for anything more than an action movie, like
an action movie with substance look elsewhere.
By Milton Brayson
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