Flash Movie Review: Unstoppable
I used to have a love/hate relationship with trains growing up. As a little kid I never wanted to sit by the windows when the train was above ground. I thought my weight would tip the train over, so I always tried to stay close to the center of the train car. Talk about having a poor self image as a little overweight child. Only when the train would go below ground would I finally relax, since I felt the dark tunnels we traveled would always keep us upright. At least that is how I rationalized it. These days when I travel to a new city I make a point of always using their public transportation; it makes me feel like an adventurer. Seeing a trailer for this action film, I thought I could easily roll with the story. I still get a kick out of the train rides at amusement parks, so this movie looked like it would be an exciting thrill ride. Inspired by true events, human error caused an unmanned freight train to leave the yard, with its cargo of toxic chemicals. With no air brakes the train would continue to pick up speed until it derailed, causing a life threatening disaster. If seasoned engineer Frank, played by Denzel Washington (The Great Debaters, American Gangster), along with young conductor Will, played by Chris Pine (Star Trek, People Like Us), had any chance to stop a tragedy from occurring, they would have to work together in a race against time. At the start I enjoyed the no nonsense approach the director took in setting up the basis of the story. I was curious to see how the action would be sustained, since in my mind a train seemed like it would have less exciting options than if the story was about a hijacked or crippled airplane. It was a false concern; the action kept a steady pace as the tension grew incrementally. The acting was nothing special to me. Denzel was doing his Denzel method, being on autopilot while Chris did not bring anything new to the table. I thought Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds, Sin City) did a good job as Connie who worked at the train operating center. This film is fine for those who want to experience the thrill of an amusement park ride without waiting in line.
2 2/3 stars — DVD