johnlink ranks UNSTOPPABLE (2010)

I can’t hear this title without thinking of those obnoxious watch commercials that ran a couple NFL seasons ago (Unstoppable! Eli Manning is… Unstoppable). But, whatever. This seemed like SPEED on a train, but without the villain. I’ll give any Denzel suspense flick a shot, and I like the new Captain Kirk, so what the heck!

I watched UNSTOPPABLE (2010) on 8.30.11. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

I am a fan of this kind of small film. Well ok, the budget was somewhere between 90 and 100 million, so I’m not sure you can call it small; but it is small in scope. An unmanned train with hazardous materials and broken fail-safe mechanisms is on the loose. Can they stop it? Meanwhile, two guys, one who is on his first day, and one who is on his way out the door, are working together and arguing a lot. They might be the last people who can stop the runaway. Can they do it?

This film, Directed by the great Tony Scott, zips along. It flashes between Denzel and Chris Pine on their train, the runaway train itself, the office where they figure out what to do next, and news broadcasts. The news broadcasts are vital in giving information quickly, allowing the pace to remain zippy.

Unusual for a film of this nature, there are some actual real life themes here. One issue is that the train company is pushing out the veterans who make a little too much, and trucking in young guys who aren’t ready to do the job necessarily. On the other hand, the entrenched workers have varying levels of attention or care for the job they are doing. Add some blue collar domestic issues for the leads, and you have more than the paper-thin hero characters usually reserved for this type of film.

The plot certainly makes for some unrealistic moments, and it certainly relies on coincidence more than your average screenwriter would like. There are some hard to believe moments in this film. But it is just zippy enough, charming enough, and believes in itself enough, that the audience really can just let the minor problems go. I really enjoyed the ride it took me on.

Based on a true story? Barely. But it doesn’t really matter. You can do much worse that UNSTOPPABLE.





~ by johnlink00 on September 2, 2011.

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