Unstoppable Movie Review

unstoppableIn 2001 an unmanned train travelled 66 miles through northwest Ohio before a second train was attached to it and slowly applied its brakes to slow it down and allow someone to hop aboard.  Unstoppable is loosely based on these events.   The speed of the train in the movie is much faster however and the location is changed to Pennsylvania.   There are still toxic chemicals aboard however, and a danger to society.  Is Unstoppable merely another attempt by Hollywood to make real life more exciting, or does this movie have something to offer?  Let’s find out.

Unstoppable opens with Will Colson (Chris Pine of Star Trek) starting his first day on a new job.  Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) is the veteran employee assigned to help train him.  While the two of them are off on their first assignment, a freight train escapes a train yard unmanned due to a bone headed decision by an employee of the yard.  This train quickly gains speed up to 70 miles an hour, and is carrying combustible poisonous chemicals that could wipe out a small city.  There are only two ways to possibly stop the train.  Somehow board it and shut it down, or derail it.  Will and Frank have a third option however.  Attach their train to the back end of the runaway train and gun it in the opposite direction or apply the brakes in hopes of stopping it.

Unstoppable starts slowly and builds speed.  By the end it’s an adrenaline rush.  There are several times throughout the movie that you can feel your heart almost stop as something is trying to get out of the path of the runaway train.  This is Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott’s fifth movie together (the others being Déjà vu, Crimson Tide, Man On Fire, and The Taking of Phelham 1 2 3) and their comfort with one another shows.  Chris Pine has a very bright future ahead of him, and this movie will help him avoiding being typecast as Captain Kirk.  This movie is really just a good action film that has a train at the centre as the bad guy instead of some sort of armed terrorist.  There is very little swearing and blood, but the movie doesn’t need it.  Compared to the action movies that have been released in the last few months, this one is definitely the best of the lot.  It’s refreshing to see a different kind of action movie, with a different basic plot.  The only real problem with this movie is the ‘Inspired By Real Events’ tag.  As explained before the events were different, and some people may get confused by what is actually true.  This movie could have stood alone without that tag.

With recent box office duds likes The Book of Eli and The Taking of Phelham 1 2 3, Denzel Washington may have a hard time drawing people in this time.  Don’t hold that against him however as this movie is worth seeing on the big screen.  You’ll find yourself holding your breath, and by the time you have a chance to breathe the movie will be over.  Now that’s a good way to spend a couple of hours.

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