Monday, 21 November 2011



Tony Scott and Denzel's love for trains is getting out of control.

12A, 98 Minutes. Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson. Director: Tony Scott.

'Unstoppable' marks the second collaboration between actor Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott in as many a year and not only that it's another film about trains. After the previous years brilliant remake of 'The Taking of Pelham 123' and now this you could almost see Washington and Scott sharing a prized train set in one of their lofts, but still let's stay on track here. Just like the pair have done time and time again (just like with 'Man On Fire') Scott and Washington hit big again as the great Denzel teams up with upcoming star/Captain Kirk of the new 'Star Trek' franchise Chris Pine. 'Unstoppable' is a film based on true events and if these events where anything like you see in this film than they involved some really brave people.

The film basically is about a runaway train that carries some really lethal cargo. The train due to a really, really bad case of human error ends up accelerating away unmanned. Now that's a 'DOH!' moment right there. Not only that (and this is where the Hollywood comes in) the train is on course with a train full of schoolkids and then what seems like every sleepy, small, beautiful town the United States of America has to offer. So it's up to the hard-working, down-trodden working man, (in this case Washington and Pine) to fix everybody else's mistakes from higher up, while someone else probably takes the credit (do I sound like I know something about this? bitter?).

So as the pair go hog-tailing after this runaway train what results is a tense, explosive thrill ride that will leave you saying 'only in the movies', but apparently not in this case. Chris Pine is incredible in this. From his first charming and charasmatic scene in 'Star Trek' he claimed his place but here he acts even more like he's been around in this industry a lot longer than he actually has. Acting alongside Washington primarily in the cockpit of a train, (you have to have some high 'Collateral' acting for closed situations like this) he isn't fazed by the legend. He's complimentary and holds a scene on his own all at the same time. As a matter of fact the whole cast keep this film steaming ahead. The support may not be A-list (it's not far off however) but all the actors bring their A game, led by Rosario Dawson. The versatile actress (who's career has always been steaming ahead) gives one of her finest performances, technically if you like sitting in Denzel's chair and role from 'Pelham'.

Speaking of which it's Scott and Washington's chemistry that champions this movie as they add another great collaboration to their classic collection. Sure Denzel plays a lot of similar roles sometimes but just like George Clooney his characters bring out the decency, charm and charisma of him, thus helping you identify and sympathise with the roles he plays from the jump. 'Unstoppable' features those hallmark Scott and Washington moments that make their films that much more potent than the other films out there. It has those touching, sombre moments. The identifiable moments of human struggle and sacrifice and those joking, relief moments that help bridge the gap between tense situations. These are the elements that help piece together the films the duo do, making them much more than just thrillers, dramas or action pieces.

Sure this film is one of those that you may only watch once but that's not necessarily a bad thing. On this train, thrill ride you'll love the journey and stay with the thrilling plot at every stop. Other blockbusters rely on violence and special effects whereas this film is built off man and machine and some brilliant writing. Just like watching a motor race, it's hard to tell how fast a moving train is actually going on screen, but thanks to some great direction and camera work the scenes is set. With all this drama, action and tense moments you may as well throw away those nail clippers because after this gripping, nail biting hour and a half, you aint going to need them.'Unstoppable' is even better than advertised, so catch it while you can. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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