REVIEW: The Taking of Pelham 123
OVERVIEW: Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars go head-to-head in director Tony Scott’s (Man on Fire, Déjà Vu) summer box office action hit The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, coming to Blu-ray, DVD, PSP™ and Digital Download on November 3rd from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. A remake of the 1974 suspense classic, based on a 1973 novel by Jon Godey, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 stars two-time Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington (Best Actor: Training Day, 2001; Best Supporting Actor: Glory, 1989) teamed with John Turturro (Transformers, O Brother, Where Art Thou) to battle against John Travolta (Basic, Swordfish) and Luis Guzmán (War, Punch-Drunk Love) in a heart-pounding story full of action, thrills and suspense deep inside the New York Subway system. After criminal mastermind Ryder (Travolta) takes a subway train hostage, MTA Dispatcher Walter Garber (Washington) finds himself thrown into the middle of the explosive situation as he must find away to rescue all the hostages while not letting Ryder escape.
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 Déjà 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 Guzmán, decide
to hijack one of the subway trains under Walter’s 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? That’s 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 Owen’s 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 don’t think I found one since moment
So what’s good about the movie, well the performances for
one thing. It’s been a while since I’ve 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 I’m
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 Guzmán
who always plays an underdog gives it his all with what
little he is given.
For a summer movie this movie doesn’t 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
you’re looking for anything more than an action movie, like
an action movie with substance look elsewhere.
By Milton Brayson
The film is
presented in 1080P widescreen in a 2.40:1 aspect ration
preserving its theatrical format. The picture is just
flawless, bringing to perfection dark scenes of
the film. Not only the picture looks great in this release,
also the sound it is good, a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio in English, Spanish and French that provides a
good complement to the picture. It also includes English,
Spanish, French and Portuguese.
In terms of Special Features,
the The Taking of Pelham 123 Blu-ray a few interesting. It includes
a commentary from director Tony Scott, Writer Brian Helgeland and Producer Todd Black. Also included are behind-the-scenes featurettes, including “No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 123” and “The Third Rail – The NYC Subway System.”
The Blu-ray version exclusively includes a Digital Copy of the film for PC, PSP®, Mac or iPod.
2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 1080P
5.1 DTS-HD (Dolby Digital) Spanish, Catalan and French 5.1 .
Subtitles - English Spanish
French Portuguese Optional
Commentary featuring Director Tony Scott, Writer Brian Helgeland, and Producer Todd
“No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 1 2 3”
“The Third Rail – The NYC Subway System”
“From the Top Down: Stylizing Character”
An exclusive Digital Copy of the film for PC, PSP®, Mac or iPod
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