Review – Unstoppable

Throughout our lives we all go through phases, one minute we’re into daily exercise and the next minute we’re into Big Macs. It seems at the moment that uber producer/director Tony Scott is into trains. In 2009 we had to sit through Tony’s woeful remake of ‘The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’ with Denzel Washington verses John Travolta and the New York Subway system. In 2011 it’s ‘Unstoppable’ where the trains are so disgruntled they’re just taking off on their own full of dangerous chemicals. Denzel Washington (still loves trains too) and Chris Pine play two rail engineers who are tasked with the job of stopping an out of control train before it derails in a heavily populated area and kills millions of people, oh and to add even more drama the story is based on actual events.

‘Unstoppable’ is bland on so many levels and Tony Scott pulls out every trick in his flashy directing book to try and make things interesting, but after you’ve seen the runaway train come past the camera 450 times using different camera angles things really start to get boring. At times I felt sick due to Scott’s overuse of the camera panning around characters during fast pace sequences, it was like riding the tea cups at Disneyland. The characters are all cookie cutter disaster flick people reacting to the events playing on out television screens with Washington and Pine on ‘everyday down on their luck hero’ duty. My major gripe with this film is Tony Scott’s reliance on news stations within the movie reporting on the incident. Rather than letting the story play out with the characters we are bombarded with reporters telling us what’s going on in a Fox News style broadcast, it’s like being constantly hit over the head with a hammer reminding you what’s going on just in case you missed a cargo train bashing through a road block.

It’s hard to avoid such an obvious analogy but ‘Unstoppable’ is a train wreck and if you’re reading this Denzel Washington here’s some free advice, next time your phone rings and Tony Scott’s name pops up, DON’T ANSWER IT! Keep your schedule free for some solid work and snap out of your ‘I’ve got my Oscar, now I can make crappy train films’ phase.


The Popcorn Junkie