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

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Reviews

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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.
June 27, 2016
Tony Scott's underrated gem.
June 26, 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.
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
February 24, 2016
Having never even seen or even heard of the original I can't really compare it, But the film itself is very good, A strong cast put in a good performance, But John Travolta was great and a very good villain, Denzel Washington was great but he always is, Some great action and some good car stunts too, The story has been done before but a few clever differences make this film stand out, Very gripping and very entertaining.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2016
I liked the original Taking of Pelham but I don't think it so good it didn't warrant a remake. That said, I'm not particularly fond of remakes but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. They certainly updated it and made the story a little more realistic in some ways but then again, they also messed up in many ways. Not bad but not great, it is what it is, you'll probably know whether it's for you by looking at the poster.
January 19, 2016
Travolta steals the show with this one
December 31, 2015
have nice camera work but I feel its a little predictable....anyway its enough entertainment for a boring afternoon.
December 30, 2015
only becoz Denzel & Travolta r in it
½ October 9, 2015
Don't remember this at all, but apparently there are trains.
September 22, 2015
Expected more, but good enough to watch once.
September 19, 2015
about average, Denzel does his usual good job
½ August 9, 2015
Did read the book. It was better.
August 8, 2015
A solid thriller, with a great ensemble.
½ July 27, 2015
Great performances by Denzel Washington & John Travolta make this one hell of a Train Ride ;). I've always been a big fan of John Travolta as the bad guy character and he doesn't disappoint here as a depressed New York man who takes a train captive and demands that a lowly subway dispatcher (Washington) makes good on his ransom (with interesting math to get there) or he will kill 1 passenger every minute that he's late, good action sequences and some great acting make this a must see
July 26, 2015
An entertaining remake.
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