Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Movie Review : Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Released : 2009
Director : Tony Scott
Starring : Denzel Washington, John Travolta
My Rating : 5 out of 10

I have not seen the original movie of which this is a remake. So judging this just by itself, I found this move nothing more than average.

This is one of the many thrillers that Hollywood can churn without much effort. There is a bad guy (Travolta) who takes a train hostage, demands lot of money and will negotiate only with the other protagonist (Denzel Washington). Does it sound exciting new idea ? Didn't think so.

With this kind of routine plot, the film needs a lot more than routine sequences to rise above average. The bad guys shouts a lot, kills people in cold blood to make his point, disburses intelligent thoughts to the good guy and has hidden motives. Nothing new here. Oh, and the good guy is not all good, he has made mistakes too. And he is willing to bravely confront the bad guy in order to redeem himself. OK. Let's just say that this is not exactly an imaginative setting.

So does the film offer anything else ? Whatever the bad guy says, only helps give clues about himself and his motives. Not a very smart villain. Is he menacing, evil, disturbing ? Unfortunately John Travolta fails to scare us. I was actually bored by his performance.

What about the good guy ? Well, now that's one positive point, because Denzel Washington is very convincing in his performance. He keeps the viewer interested. Interestingly, since the villain is so lame, the side characters manage to add something to the movie. James Gandolfini as the Mayor of New York shines in his small role.

With the action not so exciting, and the humor not so funny and dialogues not at all smart, and plot having way too many convenient co-incidences, there is little reason to watch this movie. It's not a complete waste of time - it's a very short movie. So if you are in a mood for some quick entertainment where you don't have to be very attentive, go for it.

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