Director Tony Scott reteams with Denzel Washington for the action packed Unstoppable. Washington stars as Frank, a grizzled railroad veteran in the twilight of his career who’s teamed with rookie Will (Chris Pine). When unfortunate coincidences collide with incompetence, the railway they work for is faced with a runaway train…on a collision course with another train…full of children. Oh, and the train is carrying toxic chemicals and diesel fuel. Really? That’s all. You don’t want to throw in some puppies and nuns for good measure?
The plot? There isn’t much of one. There’s a train, and somebody needs to stop it. Will and Frank both have perfunctory back-stories that are fairly cliché. And the movie is filled with clunky dialog as characters repeatedly explain the workings of the railroad industry to people who should already know, soley for the purpose of providing the audience with exposition. And there’s one more thing I should mention…none of that matters. It’s awesome!
Unstoppable is precisely that. It’s a slam-bang, stunt-driven spectacular. Scott uses every plot device he can think of to put things in the path of that train so we can then watch said train utterly annihilate them. People run on top of the train, along side of the train, dangle from helicopters in an attempt to land on the train. From the opening scene the movie is like a machine that barrels through everything in its path leaving a wake of destruction like…well, I can’t quite think of what sort of machine barrels through everything in its path leaving a wake of destruction. But I’m sure something will come to me.
It’s not smart and it won’t be accused of being high-art. But it’s effective and a hell of a lot of fun.
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