The Taking of Pelham 123

Tony Scott’s remake of the 1974 film I found completely engaging. I did, however, have time to wonder why there is almost no development of the hostage characters – and even of the other members of the gang apart from the leader. I noted in the credits that John Travolta required five people working just for him – as double, assistant, stylist, etc. But he was worth it; I’ve had doubts about his acting ability in the past (Pulp Fiction, especially) but he was good here. He passed the acid test: for long periods I forgot it was Travolta inside the character. On the other hand, I did not believe that the character established by Denzel Washington in the first half of the film could turn into the action hero of the last sequence.

Finally, I do worry about the amounts of money spent on mere entertainment such as this, and the disruptions to the lives of people who happen to be inconvenienced by the making of a film in their streets, but I guess I’m being naive.

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzman

The Taking of Pelham 123 (Tony Scott, 2009)

Garry Gillard | New: 8 March, 2017 | Now: 8 March, 2017