Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)



Adapted from the novel by John Godney, The Pelham 123 is a train that leaves Pelham at 1:23 pm, and the taking of it is by a terrorist called Ryder.  I’m not sure whether Tony Scott developed the same affinity with trains later in his career as he has with Denzel Washington, as they were both involved with his next film: the insufferable Unstoppable (2010).  Also starring Denzel Washington, The Taking of Pelham 123 starts as an enjoyable thriller as Washington’s rail network-coordinating character happens to be at his desk when Ryder (John Travolta trying to reprise his Swordfish persona but woefully wayward) hijacks the train.  The banter between these two is lively and really drives the first half of the film, however when Washington sets off to deliver the ransom to Ryder (hindered by some lazy writing and inept police) the plot becomes formulaic and boring.  By the time the climax is reached (with more incompetent police) I really didn’t care how it turned out. But, well, you know, that’s just, like, er, my opinion, man.