Movie Review: ‘Unstoppable’

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:36 am.

Summary: Based on a true story, a runaway train is on the loose at full speed with no conductor on board due to an incompetent engineer.  The train goes from a “coaster” to Speed meets Maximum Overdrive drama.  On board are tons of toxic materials and this locomotive is on a war path — a train full of children, manic horses and an entire Pennsylvania town are all in danger!

If train number 777 derails in the wrong area, it would be like a missile with toxic chemicals exploding — and there is a sharp corner ahead that will throw the locomotive off the tracks. Someone must save the day!  Who will it be? Well, there is Denzel Washington’s character, railroad veteran Frank Barnes, and a conductor played by Chris Pine.

Review: One can’t help but give Unstoppable the side-eye, considering Denzel Washington just did 2009’s Taking of Pelham 123 with a similar plot and same director, Tony Scott.  Once upon a time Denzel was on a roll with the cop characters, now his most recent passion seems to be the blue collar man. Similar to Pelham, this is all about the average American, wronged by corporations and they show their patriotism on this one apple pie day. With its safe and non-threatening political commentary, it’s the type of film that Sarah Palin and President Barack Obama could agree on.  I could hear Palin now in 2012, “I will be unstoppable like the real Americans in Unstoppable!” But, I digress…

For a movie about a speeding train, Unstoppable moves slow at times, but just like Pelham, when the speed picks up, it results in a fun ride for moviegoers.  Unlike Pelham, there is a  danger missing without a villain.  John Travolta made the 2009 film as an arrogant terrorist.  Here, we just have a train that won’t stop.

It’s a little surprising that Denzel Washington, Chris Pine (who is a mega-star after Star Trek) and the always likable Rosario Dawson, as a train traffic manager, would be in such a mediocre film. There isn’t anything memorable or blockbuster about Unstoppable, which I am sure was obvious in the script that has a storyline we have seen a billion times.  That said, the cast makes the film work right to the last frame.  With good acting and a strong build of conflict, you are rooting for the characters.

Overall, Unstoppable is here just to entertain.  It’s a great date movie or family film.  Sure, within the first five minutes you know the beginning, middle and end, but you still a get fun ride in a quick 95 minutes.  Now, if you want a dramatic train ride, I can recommend some subway lines on New York’s MTA that will give you the thrill of a lifetime!

Unstoppable is in theaters tomorrow.

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Movie Reviews: Unstoppable…

Most critics have no intention of applying the brakes to the run-away-train thriller Unstoppable, which for the fifth time teams director Tony Scott with star Denzel Washington. The movie may not break any cinematic new ground, but it’s likely t…