The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Breezy, thrilling, and quite funny, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three sees Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw pitted against each other in effortlessly high form.
All Critics (38)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (38)
| Rotten (0)
| DVD (5)
The large, well-characterized cast is ably headed by Walter Matthau, whose wonderfully weary sense of irony is perfect.
Taps into viewers' paranoia over a decrepit, vulnerable infrastructure and then provides bitter laughs and a harrowing catharsis.
What's good about Pelham's example of the form is that the performances are allowed enough leeway so that we care about the people not the plot mechanics. And what could have been formula trash turns out to be fairly classy trash, after all.
The original version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was made 35 years ago, yet it retains a quality of cool that will remain long after people have forgotten the current version.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a good action caper about a subway car heist under the streets of Manhattan.
Superior exercise in urban paranoia; the superb location work of director Joseph Sargent goes a long way toward tempering the artificialities of the plot.
... hasn't the credentials of Dog Day Afternoon or The French Connection but this ingenious crime caper / hostage drama is one of the great New York crime films of the 1970s.
This exceptional thriller is filled with colorful characters and crackling dialogue -- and always has one more surprise up its sleeve.
A work of substance and an exciting experience.
One of the decade's great defenses of New York
Smart, tense, and funny, Joseph Sargent's thriller is a product of its times, reflecting New York in the 1970s and part of a cycle of urban paranoia movie, such as French Connection and Dog Day Afternoon.
Surly humor powers the movie as much as the ticking-clock premise does.
Excuse me, do you people still execute in this state?
For me personally, the best Robert Shaw performance ever. No one scarier than Mr. Blue, I kid you not. He asks this of Matthau right before he . . . Don't want to give it away. It's an electrifying scene.
As if his work in The Laughing Policeman just the year before was a tune-up, Matthau appears again as the dogged cop dutifully dealing with the bad guys. This is for me, his most memorable dramatic role. He and Shaw, as adversaries, give a performance for the ages. I miss them both.
A ruthless gang with colour coded pseudonyms (sound familiar?!) and automatic weapons hijack a New York subway train in this hugely entertaining heist movie. Walter Matthau is at his sardonic best as the transport cop in charge of the situation, with Robert Shaw as the coldblooded mercenary heading the hijackers who include Hector Elizondo as the obligatory psychotic loose cannon ("they threw him out of the mafia"!) It concentrates more on the dialogue and characters to build tension than fireworks including some great behind the scenes banter as the mix of trademark New Yorker foul-mouthed ill temper, pragmatism and sarcasm come into effect when dealing with the situation, all set to a cool Schifrin-esque soundtrack. One of the best thrillers of the 1970s.
I don't expect perfect realism in my films but even allowing for dramatic license, I found Pelham 123 just had a bit too much "Alka-Seltzer TV ad" faux authenticity for my taste. Everyone in this movie is oh, so colorful, ethnic and ready with a perfect one-liner. After a while, it just gets to feeling very scripted to me.
Still... a fun flick - beautifully paced and a great time capsule of cruddy NYC circa '74.
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