UNSTOPPABLE

2010

6/10

DIRECTOR: Tony Scott

May Contain Spoilers!

I will always watch a Tony Scott movie. Rarely at the cinema mind, but unlike his brother, Ridley, Tony’s films are much simpler and lighter in tone, with the exception of Man On Fire, which still boast trade mark kinetic energy but was certainly dour and raw in tone.

Unstoppable is different animal. It’s short, at only 94 minutes and follows two men, train driver Denzel Washington and rooky conductor Chris Pine, who hot of Star Trek, is quite good here, as they find themselves in the position of stopping a runaway train which is carrying several cars of some highly flammable material.

In short, it’s a runaway missile heading for a population centre and the they are the only people with a chance of saving the day. Denzel is a widower with too stunning daughters who waitress at Hooters, but are good girls really, and Pine is trying to sort out his turbulent marriage.

The occupation of train driving is reasonably well represented here, with some plausibility in the characterisations and events which unfold, but in many ways, this is where the film lets itself down. For a start, none of the characters are particularly fleshed out and in a film called “Unstoppable” about a runaway train, I want to see crashes, explosions and ludicrous action. This is Tony Scott: He needs to deliver a blockbuster!

Instead we have a very tame film which can’t decide whether or not it’s a blockbuster or an “Inspired By True Events” movie of the week, which means it pretty much made up from an element of the real story. Hopefully, that element was indeed and runaway train! It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t as exciting as it needed to be and I just didn’t care about the characters, let alone the city of Stanton, which is about to be devastated by the train.

I wanted the train to crash and burn in the end. I wanted Stanton to be obliterated but obviously the latter was never going to happen, but (SPOILER!!!) when they eventually stop the unstoppable juggernaut, I felt that it was a complete anti-climax. No main characters died. Pine is reunited with his wife in a similar way to that of Will Patton in Armageddon, basically because he’s a hero, and everyone had a happy ending, well almost.

The whole film seemed to be a missed opportunity for start to finish, but saying that, it wasn’t that bad. It had its enjoyable moments and even though it was filled with anorexic character development, Rosario Dawson was quite likeable as the railroad co-ordinator and there’s nothing really wrong with Washinsgton or Pine, it’s just that there’s not much there.

But in the end, I wanted more destruction and simply a bit more fun. Only Scott could have taken this subject so seriously whist managing to sensationalise like this. A strange contradiction.

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