Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The preview of Unstoppable made me think of Speed 3 or some such movie.  A runaway train, civilians in danger, unexpected heroes heroically trying to stop it.  I fully expected a terrorist plot, a dirty bomb in the cargo, a criminal band making demands, or some other explanation for the train's rogue journey.  I was pleasantly surprised all the way around.  Those other elements don't necessarily indicate a bad movie, but they lean toward the formulaic.
There's enough smash-up action to keep things interesting.
So while Unstoppable doesn't completely avoid disaster movie cliches, it is refreshing that rather than resorting to some nefarious plot to send the train out of control, this disaster in the making was a simple matter of bad human judgement, mechanical malfunctions, and bad luck that sends the freight train down the tracks.  Unstoppable, based on 'true events,' has so many hairy close calls that I wonder how much was embellished and what was really true.  Even so, it's an exciting thrill ride, with plenty of impressive special effects, in which regular guys get a chance to be heroes. 

I don't know much about trains, but I can get behind a solid suspense movie with heroes you can cheer for.  Good performances by the stars, Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, but the rest of the cast really seemed to add to the realism of life on the railroad. 

Bottom line, 3 stars.

No comments: