The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

"Good"

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Review


Adapting a steely 1970s hit into a glossy 21st century blockbuster, Tony Scott indulges in his usual flashy pyrotechnics, which almost cover up the gaping craters in the plot. He also encourages his cast to really go for it.

Walter (Washington) is working at the dispatch desk for the New York Subway when crazed gunman Ryder (Travolta) hijacks the Pelham 123 and demands a huge ransom, or else he'll start killing passengers. Ryder refuses to talk to the know-it-all terrorism expert (Turturro), so Walter is pressed into service as a negotiator while the mayor (Gandolfini) gets the cash together. But Ryder and his goons are serious about this and, as the body count grows, the clock is ticking.

Director Scott and writer Helgeland aren't known for their subtlety, and this film is all whizzy style that's more about pure entertainment rather than establishing any actual suspense or character tension. The whole film is a collection of crashing edits, freeze frames, countdown graphics, loud sound effects and cheesily hysterical dialog. In other words, it's great fun. And it gives the cast plenty of scenery to chomp on--especially Travolta, who shows no mercy as he snarls and spits out every line.

Since this is a film about a Subway carriage sitting still in a tunnel, Scott keeps the camera moving at all times. He also manages to throw in a crazed car chase and loads of big crashes for no real reason, as well as orchestrating a painfully contrived reason to get Washington in on the gun-waving action. Not to throwing in several rather overwrought back-stories. By the end, the film has turned into a full-on Die Hard movie, complete with over-the-top violence and some real brutality.

Amid the fabulously enjoyable actors, it's Gandolfini who walks off with the movie using sardonic understatement. The whole film is pretty hilarious, although this clearly wasn't the intention. Scott zooms past plot holes like a runaway train; we barely have time to say "Huh?" before the next bit of action mayhem assaults all our senses. There's not a moment of actual suspense, but it's so big and outrageous that we can't help but hold on for the ride.



The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th June 2009

Box Office USA: $65.5M

Distributed by: Sony/Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Palladium Productions, Palomar Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 111 Rotten: 108

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Jason Blumenthal, ,

Starring: as Lt. Zachary Garber, as Mr. Blue - Bernard Ryder, as Mr. Green - Harold Longman, as Mr. Gray - Joe Welcome, as Mr. Brown - George Steever, James Broderick as Denny Doyle, Dick O'Neill as Frank Correll, as Lt. Rico Patrone, as Mayor's Wife

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.