The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Reviews

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½ February 25, 2018
Tony Scott's penultimate movie is also his most underrated gem. An understated every man performance from Denzel and an over the top, maniac turn for Travolta coupled with Scott's kinetic camera angles/movement and editing make this one of the better and re-watchable remakes out there, in my opinion. It doesn't quite reach the streamlined efficiency of the original but this is still a solid and unpredictable thriller right up to the last ten minutes where it unfortunately slips into action movie cliché territory. Your suspension of disbelief is really going to have to work overtime for it to not stick out like a sore thumb from the relatively realistic tone the movie tries to establish in the first 2/3 of the movie. Still a kick ass thriller worth a watch on a rainy afternoon.
January 30, 2018
Could potentially say it was a slow burner, but it was surprisingly exciting with a top cast. Recommended.
January 27, 2018
This was two movies in one. An exciting psycho drama and a lame ripoff of Fast and Furious. Every time the drama built, it was interrupted by needles footage of police vehicles speeding through NY streets. And why did travolta's character jeopardize his getaway lugging 3 heavy duffel bags of money when he made a $300 million profit in the stock market. And why did denzel's chase down the bad guy even though the hostages were no longer in danger? The direction was humorously bad.
½ October 11, 2017
Denzel and Travolta both put in strong performances and the film is very tense. Parts can be hard to get through because of Scott's pacing, but if you can get past that, you're in for an enjoyable thriller.
August 30, 2017
Nicely updated and a very nail biting, enjoyable thriller. Denzel always delivers and Travolta usually does a good bad guy. Good watch.
½ August 22, 2017
Pretty Goo Movie, Although Slightly Boring. John Travolta & Denzel Washington Did Their Best With The Bland Script. The Movie Kept My Attention Though! It's Not As Bad As The Other Reviews Claim, Trust Me.
½ August 21, 2017
Watchable and definitely one you could kerp for future viewing!
May 31, 2017
The Taking of Pelham 123 feels melodramatic instead of tense. The stakes don't feel real.
½ March 16, 2017
Solid remake. Scott's usual frantic direction of a little misplaced here, but the drama is played up well. I liked some of the additions to the plot in this version...
January 3, 2017
It's good movie to watch
½ December 9, 2016
It's an excellent thriller. Intense and with some cleverness lying underneath it. The director has some strange quirks that are unbecoming, but all around solid.
August 27, 2016
Typical Hollywood formulaic garbage. Really smart bad guy vs. good guy who is a train conductor, stunt driver, gun specialist, and has a heart of gold.
August 18, 2016
It's a rare occasion when a remake is as good as the original. Such is the case here.
½ July 25, 2016
Not as good a the original but still has its moments. Directed at a fast pace. The story line is entertaining. The casting was strong with some over acting by Travolta. Some parts of the movie were updated well. The personal drama between Travolta and Washington got weird. Maybe, that was the directors goal. Worth watching 2 and half stars.
½ July 19, 2016
Did anyone - and I mean ANYONE - involved in the production of this movie care about it? At all? I know I didn't.
½ June 30, 2016
Not a patch on the original but entertaining none the less.
March 25, 2016
The resolution is terrible. The hero doesn't really do anything. He's not a man of any action - just pushed around the ring by other forces.
½ March 3, 2016
Phenomenal high octane thriller!
February 28, 2016
New Yorkers have always been a special breed. They have this unfathomably deniable sense of ownership with the subway almost as it if defines them. However, the subway and indeed New Yorkers themselves have a chequered passed.

In 1974, NYC was cankered and haunted; teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, Jobs were disappearing and the city heaved with criminal element. The middle-class fled for the quiet and safe outer suburbia leaving the old-fashioned neighbourhoods to rot.

Director Joseph Sargent captured the depravity, anxiety and dread of the time with the first of three adaptations of John Godey's grimy dimestore subway-hijacking thriller novel, Taking of Pelham 123. The movie was no master piece but it was a concise emulation of the economy realism reflects its era.

The 2009 version reflects ours. Obviously reworked to cash in under the guise of the current GFC, it crucially fails to portray the originals deep seeded angst. Is it that New York itself is now a flashier, far less gritty, hollow shell of is former nonchalant heyday or is it perhaps recession or no recession, the NY subway is not longer a source of danger and hijackers don't instil fear unless their called terrorists?

Recently demoted transit dispatcher Walter Garber's (Denzel Washington) ordinary day is hurled into chaos when a volatile criminal mastermind demanding to be addressed as Ryder (John Travolta) at gunpoint hijacks a Bronx-bound subway train.

Ryder mathematically demands $52,631.58 for each of his 19 hostages (totalling $1,000,000) within 60 minutes and if not produced, without hesitation, he will execute one hostage (or commodity as he infers) each minute it is late.

Garber reluctantly becomes an unofficial hostage negotiator, clumsily attempting to keep Ryder happy and calm by trading uneasy personal histories. The telephonic verbal sparring commences with great speed and both sides inadvertently let too much slip. Garber's morally questionable passed accentuates his rapport with his new found friends, but does Ryder have a hidden agenda?
Tony Scott is not known for his low-key approach to directing, he could never be confused with someone who cares for characterisation, depth or subtlety. Scott's overly rambunctious intrusive score, ridiculously flamboyant camerawork and over-frenetic editing is an insult to the senses and never allows the intimacy between dispatcher and tyrant to develop.

What it crucially fails to do, especially in the light of its illustrious predecessor, is justify its own existence. The deflated tone is ever urgent, dangerous and important. It delivers a meatier back story than the original for its lead characters but is burdened by Scott's overzealous need to be bigger, brasher and much louder.

Travolta and Washington have considerable chemistry. Strictly limited to the first half, Screenplay writer Brian Helgeland sneakily shoehorns some intelligence into the script allowing the naturally talented and charismatic leads to showcase the depth and meaning in the breathless tension shared between their characters.

However as per the uniquely unsuited coffee-welding action maestro Scott's requirements "this is movie making on steroids" and nothing can compensate for the careening train of a climax that essentially derails.

With endless sub-plots and innuendo Washington's character morphs from a mild-mannered civil servant into a Bruce Willis-esque gun-toting superhero and Travolta with his ridiculous goatee suspends belief by deviating from initial intellectually calculated plans leaves ending scenes lacking creditability.

The Verdict: In retrospect this subterranean caper is nothing more than a filler for this years release timeline. The original had the power to inspire Director Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" colour coded names and spawned two remakes, However this one inspires you to take headache medication.

You may end up feeling pulverised by the cosmetic mediocrity of the action so here is a task you can focus on; Count how many times can Google receive product placement in one film? Just food for though.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 21/08/2009
February 28, 2016
My first Blu-Ray movie seen ever , can't see much difference by a normal dvd in the player ...both pretty great quality ! The Movie itself also great like the first time i've seen it ! SOMBLU
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